Ideology, tactics, and efficiency in redistributive politics

Avinash Dixit, John Londregan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

187 Scopus citations


We model the electoral politics of redistribution when voters and parties care about inequality in addition to their private concerns for consumption and votes, respectively. Ideological concerns about income redistribution lead each party to adopt a general proportional income tax, adjusted to appeal to the ideological leanings of high "clout" groups, with disproportionately many "swing" voters, which the parties also ply with pork-barrel projects. Our results relate to "Director's Law," which says that redistributive politics favors middle classes at the expense of both rich and poor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-529
Number of pages33
JournalQuarterly Journal of Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


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