English, Article, Journal or magazine article edition: Inequality and Political Consensus Grüner, Hans Peter

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Physical Description
  • preprint
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • Inequality and Political Consensus
Author
  • Grüner, Hans Peter
Physical Description
  • preprint
Notes
  • This Paper develops a model of political consensus in order to explain the missing link between inequality and political redistribution. Political consensus is an implicit agreement not to vote for extreme policy proposals. We show that such an agreement may play an efficiency-enhancing role. Voters anticipate that voting for extremist parties increases policy uncertainty in the future. A political consensus among voters reduces policy uncertainty because self-interested politicians propose non-discriminatory policies. We study how much inequality can be sustained in a democracy and how the limits to redistribution vary with initial inequality. We find that the bounds of the set of political equilibria may react in a fundamentally different manner to changes in exogenous variables than do the policy variables in the one-dimensional, one-shot game. More initial inequality need not lead to more redistribution from the rich to the poor. The maximum amount of redistribution decreases with inequality if (and only if) agents are sufficiently patient. In this case inequality is politically self-sustaining.
  • comparative statics in political economy; inequality; policy uncertainty; political concensus; representative democracy
  • RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4159
  • This paper develops a model of political consensus in order to explain the missing link between inequality and political redistribution. Political consensu s is an implicit agreement not to vote for extreme policy proposals. We show tha t such an agreement may play an efficiency-enhancing role. Voters anticipate that voting for extremist parties increases policy uncertainty in the future. A pol itical consensus among voters reduces policy uncertainty because power-seeking p oliticians propose non-discriminatory policies in their own interest. We study h ow much inequality can be sustained in a democracy and how the limits to redistr ibution vary with initial inequality. We find that more inequality need not lead to more redistribution. The maximum amount of redistribution decreases with ine quality if (and only if) agents are sufficiently patient. In this case inequalit y is politically self-sustaining.
  • inequality, representative democracy, political consensus, policy uncertain ty, comparative statics in political economy.
  • RePEc:bon:bonsfa:591
Language
  • English
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