Banner Viadrina

Master of Arts
in European Studies

Political economy of inequality and redistribution

Amable, Bruno

Political economy of inequality and redistribution

3/6/9 ECTS

Seminar: ZB Wirtschaft, ZB Politik, WPM 1, WPM 2, WPM 6

Dienstag 14-16 Uhr, Ort: GD 205

This course examines the politics of distribution and redistribution of resources in the developed democracies with an emphasis on the European experience. It covers a variety of questions. Why do some countries redistribute more than others? Why have Americans tolerated rising levels of inequality in recent decades? Why do they work longer hours compared to Europeans? How do the institutions determining redistribution develop? How do they fare in the face of such challenges as the movement from an industrial to a post-industrial economy, technological change, and globalization? What explains inequalities in health across social groups? To what extent are the sources of inequality ‘social’ rather than ‘political’ or ‘economic’? The course surveys a range of perspectives on these issues, concentrating on contemporary debates with a view to identifying promising topics for future research and promising approaches to them.

·       Inequality: evolutions and current situation

·       Welfare state and redistribution

·       Preferences for equality and preferences for inequality

·       The electoral politics of redistribution


Barth, Erling and Karl O. Moene. 2012. “The Equality Multiplier." IZA Discussion Paper No. 6494

Iversen, Torben, and David Soskice. 2001. “An Asset Theory of Social Policy Preferences.” American Political Science Review 95 (4): 875–93.

Iversen,Torben, and David Soskice. 2006. “Electoral Institutions and the Politics of Coalitions: Why Some Democracies Redistribute More Than Others.” American Political Science Review 100 (2): 165–81.

Kenworthy, Lane, and Jonas Pontusson. 2005. “Rising Inequality and the Politics of Redistribution in Affluent Countries.” Perspectives on Politics 3 (3): 449–72.

Lupu, Noam & Pontusson, Jonas. 2011. The Structure of Inequality and the Politics of Redistribution. American Political Science Review Vol. 105, No. 2, 316-336.

OECD. 2012. Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising. Paris: OECD

Piketty, Thomas (2014) Capital in the 21st Century, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.


Sprache: Englisch