Title

Distribution and Politics: A Brief History and Prospect

Authors

John E. Roemer

Document Type

Discussion Paper

Publication Date

10-1-2004

CFDP Number

1487

CFDP Pages

35

Abstract

A brief, historical review of the study of the interdependency between politics and economic distribution is offered. While the impact of economic interests on politics has been acknowledged for thousands of years, and the impact of politics on distribution for hundreds, it is only in the last thirty years that formal models of the interdependency between economic distribution and politics have been formulated. A general model of political-economic equilibrium is proposed, in which political competition and economic distribution jointly determine each other. Several examples are given. The author proposes that political economy, conceived of as studying this process of joint determination, is in its infancy.

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