Affordable Access

Publisher Website

Do middle classes bring about institutional reforms?

Authors
Journal
Economics Letters
0165-1765
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
116
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2012.04.013
Keywords
  • Poverty
  • Middle Class
  • Income
  • Institutions
  • Development
Disciplines
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Political Science

Abstract

Abstract We reexamine the association between poverty, the middle class, and institutional outcomes using a newly developed cross-country panel dataset containing detailed information on the distribution of income and expenditure. When the size of the middle class increases (measured as the proportion of people with income above 10 US dollars a day in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms), social policy on health and education becomes more active and the quality of governance regarding democratic participation and official corruption improves. This does not occur at the expense of economic freedom, as an expansion of the middle class also implies more market-oriented economic policy on trade and finance. In these respects, the impact of a larger middle class appears to be more robust than those of lower poverty, lower inequality, or higher gross domestic product (GDP) per capita.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.