The Impact of Income on the Taste for Revolt
London School of Econ. STICERD Working Paper No. 30
32 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2002
Date Written: 2002
A fundamental question for economists is whether more income reduces the chance of revolt. To provide answers a large literature has used aggregate level data on actual conflict. This paper takes a different approach by using micro-data sets based on surveys of revolutionary support across one-quarter of a million people. This makes it possible to differentiate, for the first time, between the effects of a person's relative income position within a country and the level of average GDP per capita on the taste for revolt. Studying preferences rather than outcomes helps overcome several empirical problems. These include collective action problems that may lead to no large-scale conflict despite a public taste for revolt and endogeneity problems that exist when actual conflict affects income levels. Controlling for personal characteristics, country and year fixed effects, as well as country-specific time trends, a higher level of average GDP per capita and being relatively high in the income distribution within a country both reduce revolutionary tastes.
Keywords: Preferences, Property Rights, Income, Revolts
JEL Classification: D74, H53, H55, J65
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation