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A Theory of Redistribution in New Democracies: Income Disparity in New Democracies in Europe

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Why is it that new democracies have difficulty generating income equality? This article argues that low voter turnout and weak political party system institutionalization increase targeted spending. This in turn has an effect on income inequality because social spending rewards privileged social groups to the detriment of the disadvantaged. The argument is tested across six new and fifteen long-standing democracies in Europe using a panel-data analysis. It finds that low turnout by the poor and weak party institutionalization increase targeted spending, which in turn decreases economic equality. The analysis also finds that high voter turnout moderates the negative effect of electoral volatility on targeted spending.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 2017

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  • Comparative Politics is an international journal that publishes scholarly articles devoted to the comparative analysis of political institutions and behavior. It was founded in 1968 to further the development of comparative political theory and the application of comparative theoretical analysis to the empirical investigation of political issues. Comparative Politics communicates new ideas and research findings to social scientists, scholars, and students, and is valued by experts in research organizations, foundations, and consulates throughout the world.
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