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Coalitions, Carrots, and Sticks: Economic Inequality and Authoritarian States

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 September 2009

Mary Gallagher
Affiliation:
University of Michigan
Jonathan K. Hanson
Affiliation:
Syracuse University

Extract

As the other articles in this symposium demonstrate, a country's level of economic inequality is a function of a complex set of historical, geographic, economic, and political factors. Given this complexity, it is unsurprising that a country's regime type by itself does not tell us much about its level of economic inequality. The predictions of the linear tax model aside (Meltzer and Richard 1981), democracies and non-democracies do not differ greatly in terms of their level and variation in inequality. Research focusing on democracies has helped identify some the sources of this variation, but inequality in authoritarian states remains relatively understudied. The growing body of work on authoritarian politics, however, provides a foundation for research in this area.

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Symposium
Copyright
Copyright © The American Political Science Association 2009

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