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Class versus Identity: Candidates' race and the inequality-redistribution nexus

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Konstantinos Matakos, Dimitrios Xefteris

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-447
Number of pages47
JournalQuarterly Journal of Political Science
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Published6 Jul 2020

King's Authors

Abstract

Despite what the theory predicts, supply of redistributive policies does not always respond to rising inequality. We argue that redistribution reacts to changes in inequality, as long as the economy is not overshadowed by non-economic issues during the elections. To this end we construct a unique data set - where we estimate the race of candidates competing in all elections for U.S. state legislatures since 1980 - and show that the share of racially differentiated electoral contests has a disentangling effect on the inequality-redistribution link: when there are few (many) racially differentiated electoral contests, redistribution is (not) found to be sensitive to changes in inequality.

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