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Income, Preferences, and the Dynamics of Policy Responsiveness

  • Joseph Daniel Ura (a1) and Christopher R. Ellis (a2)

A variety of measures indicate that income inequality has grown significantly in the United States during the last three decades (APSA 2004; Brandolini and Smeeding 2006). In a flurry of recent research, scholars have attributed this trend to the failure of the national government to represent the preferences of ordinary citizens in general and less wealthy citizens in particular (APSA 2004; Bartels 2004; 2006; Gilens 2005), who participate in politics less consistently and contribute fewer resources to political candidates than their wealthier peers (Verba, Schlozman, and Brady 1995). The American Political Science Association's (APSA) Task Force on Inequality and American Democracy summarizes this representative failure hypothesis: “disparities in participation ensure that ordinary Americans speak in a whisper while the most advantaged roar” (2004, 2).

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PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
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