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This book revolves around one central question: Do political dynamics have a systematic and predictable influence on distributional outcomes in the United States? The answer is a resounding yes. Utilizing data from mass income surveys, elite surveys, and aggregate time series, as well as theoretical insights from both American and comparative politics, Kelly shows that income inequality is a fundamental part of the U.S. macro political system. Shifts in public opinion, party control of government, and the ideological direction of policy all have important consequences for distributional outcomes. Specifically, shifts to the left produce reductions in inequality through two mechanisms – explicit redistribution and market conditioning. Whereas many previous studies focus only on the distributional impact of redistribution, this book shows that such a narrow strategy is misguided. In fact, market mechanisms matter far more than traditional redistribution in translating macro political shifts into distributional outcomes.Read more
- Uses advanced quantitative methods and combines theoretical insights from American and comparative politics
- Based on research for which the author was named a finalist for the E. E. Schattschneider award from the American Political Science Association
- Explanations of income inequality are especially relevant in the current US political context
Reviews & endorsements
“[T]his political scientist goes beyond previous efforts by using statistical analysis to determine how federal spending and taxes affect the distribution of income inequality in the US.”
– D. B. Robertson, ChoiceSee more reviews
“Nathan Kelly’s new book . . . makes a worthy contribution . . . by providing detailed analysis of the linkages and mechanisms that connect politics to inequality.”
– Ruy Teixeira, Political Science Quarterly
“Valuable, worth reading and grappling with.”
– Lane Kenworthy, Perspectives on Politics
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- Date Published: January 2011
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107400368
- length: 216 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
- weight: 0.32kg
- contains: 25 b/w illus. 22 tables
- availability: Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer
Table of Contents
1. Explaining income inequality
2. The distributional force of government
3. Political conflict over 'who gets what?'
4. Party dynamics and income inequality
5. Macro policy and distributional processes
6. Who gets what and how
7. Distribution, redistribution, and the future of American politics.
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