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Income InequalityEconomic Disparities and the Middle Class in Affluent Countries$
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Janet C. Gornick and Markus Jantti

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804778244

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804778244.001.0001

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Political Sources of Government Redistribution in High-Income Countries

Political Sources of Government Redistribution in High-Income Countries

(p.145) Chapter Five Political Sources of Government Redistribution in High-Income Countries
Income Inequality

Vincent A. Mahler

David K. Jesuit

Piotr R. Paradowski

Stanford University Press

This chapter explores the relationship between political participation and income redistribution in high-income countries, with particular focus on middle-income groups. The first part describes government redistribution as it affects the second, third, and fourth income quintile groups, employing data from the LIS Database. The second conducts a cross-national analysis that considers the sources of variation in redistribution toward and away from individual middle-income groups, with particular focus on electoral turnout, the partisan orientation of ruling cabinets, and union density. The third employs data from the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems and the European Social Survey to calculate rates of political participation by middle-income groups, including voting, union membership, contacting public officials, and participating in protests or demonstrations. The overall conclusion is that political participation does matter, but that its relationship to redistribution varies by mode of participation and by income subgroup within the middle class.

Keywords:   income inequality, government redistribution, political participation, middle class, high-income countries, Luxembourg Income Study

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