Inequality and Democratization: Individual-Level Evidence of Preferences for Redistribution under Autocracy
34 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 25 Aug 2011
Date Written: 2011
While some research has explored the relationship between individual income and demand for redistribution under democracy -- finding little support for median-voter theories of redistribution -- no research has explored this relationship under autocracy, even though this connection is a crucial assumption of redistributivist theories of democratization (Boix 2003; Acemoglu and Robinson 2006). We explore the relationship between individual income and support for redistributive government policies in autocratic societies using micro-level data from the World Values Surveys, finding no empirical support for the core assumption of median-voter models that regime change is a function of elites’ fear of the redistributive demands of the poor.
Keywords: inequality, democratization, median voter model
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