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Inequality, Democracy, and Institutions: A Critical Review of Recent Research

Savoia, Antonio, Easaw, Joshy and McKay, Andrew 2010. Inequality, Democracy, and Institutions: A Critical Review of Recent Research. World Development 38 (2) , pp. 142-154. 10.1016/j.worlddev.2009.10.009

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This paper surveys the theoretical and empirical literature on the effect of economic and political inequality on institutions. The current understanding suggests that unequal societies develop exploitative and inefficient institutions. Empirical research—which is scant, and has mainly concentrated at cross-national level—supports, to some extent, the existence of an inverse relationship between inequality and institutions, but more analysis is needed. Future empirical research should undertake country, state, and micro-level analysis, which are a necessary complement to aggregate level studies. The effect of inequality could also take place indirectly, through the influence of inequality on democratization.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
ISSN: 0305-750X
Date of Acceptance: 3 December 2008
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2020 14:30

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