Inequality and Governance: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Inequality and Governance

1st Edition

By Andreas P. Kyriacou


168 pages | 22 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138690509
pub: 2019-09-20
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Governance matters for social welfare. Better governed countries are richer, happier, and have fewer social and environment problems. Good governance implies that public sector agents act impartially. It manifests itself in the form of equality before the law, an independent and professional public administration, and the control of corruption.

This book considers how economic inequality – both interpersonal and inter-ethnic – can affect the quality of governance. To this end, it brings together insights from three different perspectives. First, a long-run historical one that exploits anthropological data on pre-industrial societies. Second, based on experimental work conducted by social psychologists and experimental economists. Third, through cross-country empirical analysis drawn from a large sample of contemporary societies.

The long-run perspective relates the inequality-governance relationship to societal responses in the face of uncertainty – responses that persist today in the guise of cultural traits that vary across countries. The experimental evidence deepens our understanding of human behavior in unequal settings and in different governance contexts. Together, the long-run perspective and the experimental evidence help inform the cross-country analysis of the impact of economic inequality on governance. This analysis suggests the importance of both economic inequality and culture for the quality of governance and yields several policy implications.

Table of Contents

1. Concepts, measures and correlations; 2. Insights from the past; 3. Insights from social psychology and behavioural economics; 4. Economic inequality and governance in contemporary societies; 5. Culture, economic inequality and governance

About the Author

Andreas Kyriacou is Professor of Economics at the Universitat de Girona (Spain). Over the years, he has worked on a range of research topics mostly from the perspective of Institutional Economics. These include federalism and decentralization, non-economic motives driving individual behaviour and, more recently, the causes and consequences of government quality.

About the Series

Routledge Frontiers of Political Economy

In recent years, there has been widespread criticism of mainstream economics. This has taken many forms, from methodological critiques of its excessive formalism, to concern about its failure to connect with many of the most pressing social issues. This series provides a forum for research which is developing alternative forms of economic analysis. Reclaiming the traditional 'political economy' title, it refrains from emphasising any single school of thought, but instead attempts to foster greater diversity within economics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / Theory