This setting lets you change the way you view articles. You can choose to have articles open in a dialog window, a new tab, or directly in the same window.
Open in Dialog
Open in New Tab
Open in same window

American Economic Review: Vol. 90 No. 1 (March 2000)

Expand

Quick Tools:

Print Article Summary
Export Citation
Sign up for Email Alerts Follow us on Twitter

Explore:

AER - All Issues

AER Forthcoming Articles

Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract

Article Citation

Benabou, Roland. 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract." American Economic Review, 90(1): 96-129.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.90.1.96

Abstract

This paper develops a theory of inequality and the social contract aiming to explain how countries with similar economic and political "fundamentals" can sustain such different systems of social insurance, fiscal redistribution, and education finance as those, of the United States and Western Europe. With imperfect credit and insurance markets some redistributive policies can improve ex ante welfare, and this implies that their political support tends to decrease with inequality. Conversely, with credit constraints, lower redistribution translates into more persistent inequality; hence the potential for multiple steady states, with mutually reinforcing high inequality and low redistribution, or vice versa.

Article Full-Text Access

Full-text Article

Authors

Benabou, Roland (Princeton U and Centre, NBER, and CEPR)

JEL Classifications

D31: Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
P16: Capitalist Systems: Political Economy
I22: Educational Finance
E62: Fiscal Policy


American Economic Review


Quick Tools:

Sign up for Email Alerts

Follow us on Twitter

Subscription Information
(Institutional Administrator Access)

Explore:

AER - All Issues

AER - Forthcoming Articles

Virtual Field Journals


AEA Member Login:


AEAweb | AEA Journals | Contact Us