Inequality, growth, and democracy

Dimitri Landa, Ethan B. Kapstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The analysis of the relationship between inequality and economic growth in distinct politicoeconomic environments has been one of the central preoccupations of the extensive theoretical and empirical work on growth in the last decade. The authors argue that the empirical evidence available to date strongly indicates the relevance of this work for understanding the elusive causal connection between economic development and democracy. The state of the literature suggests considerable sophistication in conceptualizing the direct economic effects of inequality and contains critical insights into politically unconstrained policy-making aimed at the alleviation of their negative economic impact. However, the political feasibility of the recommended policy measures and the politically mediated effects of inequality and redistributive policy on growth and on the strength and stability of democratic regimes are understood less well. The authors discuss the critical factors influencing these effects and sketch several approaches to creating a comprehensive politicoeconomic account of the interaction between inequality, redistributive policy-making, and political regimes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-296
Number of pages33
JournalWorld Politics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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