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Distribution and redistribution: the shadow of the nineteenth century

Iversen, Torben and Soskice, David (2009) Distribution and redistribution: the shadow of the nineteenth century. World Politics, 61 (3). pp. 438-486. ISSN 0043-8871

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S004388710900015X


The authors present an alternative to power resource theory as an approach to the study of distribution and redistribution. While they agree that partisanship and union power are important, they argue that both are endogenous to more fundamental differences in the organization of capitalist democracies. specifically, center-left governments result from pr consensus political systems (as opposed to majoritarian systems), while strong unions have their origins in coordinated (as opposed to liberal) capitalism. These differences in political representation and in the organization of production developed jointly in the early twentieth century and explain the cross-national pattern of distribution and redistribution. The clusters have their origins in two distinct political economic conditions in the second half of the nineteenth century: one in which locally coordinated economies were coupled with strong guild traditions and heavy investment in cospecific assets and one in which market-based economies were coupled with liberal states and more mobile assets.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 Princeton Institute for International and Regional Affairs
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
JEL classification: N - Economic History > N1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations > N14 - Europe: 1913-
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2012 08:36
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 00:54

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