Quarterly Journal of Political Science > Vol 15 > Issue 3

Class versus Identity: Candidates' Race and the Inequality–Redistribution Nexus

Konstantinos Matakos, Associate Professor of Economics, King's College London, Department of Political Economy, United Kingdom, konstantinos.matakos@kcl.ac.uk , Dimitrios Xefteris, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Cyprus, Department of Economics, Cyprus, xefteris.dimitrios@ucy.ac.cy
Suggested Citation
Konstantinos Matakos and Dimitrios Xefteris (2020), "Class versus Identity: Candidates' Race and the Inequality–Redistribution Nexus", Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 15: No. 3, pp 401-447. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00018138

Publication Date: 06 Jul 2020
© 2020 K. Matakos and D. Xefteris
Public Economics,  Bayesian Models,  Elections,  Political economy,  Political parties,  Legislatures,  Panel data,  Gender and ethnicity
Inequalityredistributiontaxationracial heterogeneitycandidate differentiationU.S. state legislatures


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In this article:
Data and Econometric Specification 
Concluding Remarks 


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.