UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

Michael Carter in Journal of Public Economics with Paper on Economic Polarization and Voting Behavior

March 1, 2018

A shrinking middle class, and a growing gap between the haves and have nots, have been observed in a number of countries. The paper studies the implications of this sort of economic polarization for voting behavior and for the types of economic policies eventually adopted by elected governments. While the analysis focuses on contemporary Latin America, it also speaks to any country in which rapid economic change alters patterns of economic mobility and of who gets ahead over time. Among other things, the authors argue that economic polarization can induce political instability with countries swinging from left to right and then back again.

Morrow, John, and Michael R. Carter. "Learning about the prospects for mobility: Economic and political dynamics following fundamental policy reform."Journal of Public Economics 155 (2017): 38-53.


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