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The Political Geography of Inequality
Regions and Redistribution


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Part of Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics

  • Date Published: May 2012
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107008137

£ 67.00

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About the Authors
  • This book addresses two questions - why some political systems have more centralized systems of interpersonal redistribution than others, and why some political unions make larger efforts to equalize resources among their constituent units than others. This book presents a new theory of the origin of fiscal structures in systems with several levels of government. The argument points to two major factors to account for the variation in redistribution: the interplay between economic geography and political representation on the one hand, and the scope of interregional economic externalities on the other. To test the empirical implications derived from the argument, the book relies on in-depth studies of the choice of fiscal structures in unions as diverse as the European Union, Canada and the United States in the aftermath of the Great Depression; Germany before and after Reunification; and Spain after the transition to democracy.

    • Explanation of why the EU lacks a common fiscal policy, and of cross national differences in the decentralization of redistribution
    • Under what conditions are decentralization and redistribution compatible?
    • Inquiry into the institutional foundations of inequality and the distributive foundations of institutions
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    • Honourable Mention, 2014 Luebbert Best Book Award, Comparative Politics Section, American Political Science Association

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107008137
    • length: 320 pages
    • dimensions: 240 x 163 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • contains: 37 b/w illus. 35 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Regions and redistribution: introduction and overview
    2. A theory of fiscal structures in political unions
    3. The road ahead: the empirical strategy
    4. The European Union: economic geography and fiscal structures under centrifugal representation
    5. North America's divide: distributive tensions, risk sharing, and the centralization of public insurance in federations
    6. Germany's reunification: distributive tensions and fiscal structures under centripetal representation
    7. Endogenous decentralization and welfare resilience: Spain, 1978–2007
    8. The political geography of inequality: summary and implications.

  • Author

    Pablo Beramendi, Duke University, North Carolina
    Pablo Beramendi is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Duke University. His research focuses on the political economy of redistribution and inequality. Previously, he has taught at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and at the Department of Politics at the University of Oxford. He is also a research associate at the Juan March Institute (Madrid) and a former research Fellow at the Science Center (Berlin). Among his published work are articles on the determinants of taxation and inequality; the role of inequality in shaping electoral turnout; and the relationship between federalism, inequality, and redistribution.


    • Honourable Mention, 2014 Luebbert Best Book Award, Comparative Politics Section, American Political Science Association
    • Winner, 2013 Best Book Award, European Politics and Society Section, American Political Science Association

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