Life May Be Unfair, But Do Democracies Make It Any Less Burdensome?
38 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2020
Date Written: January 9, 2020
Using a large panel of countries, this paper studies whether, or not, democracies can disproportionately produce better economic outcomes for the poor than non-democracies. To deal with the endogeneity of democracy and inequality, a regional democratisation wave is used to isolate the exogenous variation in country-level democracy. Our main finding is that the exogenous component of democracy significantly and robustly decreased inequality, after controlling for key inequality determinants. We identify that two potential mechanisms through which democracy affects inequality are structural transformation and middle-class bias channels.
Keywords: Democracy, inequality
JEL Classification: P16, O10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation