Political Representation and Income Inequality

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dc.contributor.author HAKHVERDIAN, Armen
dc.date.accessioned 2010-10-19T15:44:38Z
dc.date.available 2010-10-19T15:44:38Z
dc.date.issued 2010
dc.identifier.issn 1830-7728
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1814/14738
dc.description.abstract Whose preferences determine the direction of government policy? Is it the political centre, formally known as the median or mean voter, or is government policy more responsive to socio-economic elites? This paper examines political representation in the United Kingdom on the left-right scale. Politicians face a trade-off between policy and electoral incentives. The observed policy behaviour of the British government is therefore posited as a weighted average between these conflicting interests. In contrast to previous studies this paper posits an important role for political competition in the study of unequal representation. Representation can be expected to be biased towards groups with higher incomes during safe Conservative governments. Instead, when a safe Labour government has control over the direction of policy, policy outputs are more likely to be responsive to the preferences of groups with lower incomes. Under an electorally vulnerable governing party, regardless of its ideological colour, observed policy behaviour will be skewed towards the preferences of middle incomes, or, analogously, the mean voter. These propositions are tested and affirmed with longitudinal policy- and opinion-data from 1973-2006. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.relation.ispartofseries EUI MWP
dc.relation.ispartofseries 2010/36
dc.subject Political representation en
dc.subject inequality en
dc.subject policy en
dc.subject public opinion en
dc.title Political Representation and Income Inequality en
dc.type Working Paper en
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