Political Institutions and Redistribution

Alberto Alesina and Edward Glaeser

in Fighting Poverty in the US and Europe

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780199267668
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602153 | DOI:
Political Institutions and Redistribution

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This chapter examines the “political” explanations for the difference in the distributive policies of the United States and Europe. Political and institutional variables provide useful insights on differences in redistribution. These include the lack of a strong socialist party, the nature of the electoral system in the United States vs. Europe, the nature of the federal Constitution in the United States compared to the more centralised states in Europe, and the different role of the courts.

Keywords: United States; Europe; redistributive policies; income redistribution; political institutions; socialist parties; welfare; electoral system; federal system

Chapter.  5475 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Economics

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