Many suppose that democracy is an ethos which requires, inter alia, a degree of economic equality among citizens. In contrast, we conceive of democracy as ruthless electoral competition between groups of citizens with different interests, who are organized into parties. We inquire whether such competition, which we assume to be concerned with distributive matters, will engender economic equality in the long run. Society is modeled as OLG, and each generation competes politically over educational finance and tax policy; the policy space is infinite dimensional. A political equilibrium concept is proposed which determines the membership of two parties endogenously, and their proposed policies in political competition. One party wins the election (stochastically). This process determines the evolution of the distribution of human capital. We show that, whether the limit distribution of human capital is an equal one depends upon the nature of intra-party bargaining and the degree of inequality in the original distribution.
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- Will Democracy Engender Equality?
John E. Roemer
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
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