Brahmin Left vs Merchant Right: Rising Inequality and the Changing Structure of Political Conflict

Septiembre de 2018


Abstract. Using post-electoral surveys from France, Britain and the US, this paper
documents a striking long-run evolution in the structure of political cleavages. In the
1950s-1960s, the vote for left-wing (socialist-labour-democratic) parties was
associated with lower education and lower income voters. It has gradually become
associated with higher education voters, giving rise to a “multiple-elite” party system
in the 2000s-2010s: high-education elites now vote for the “left”, while highincome/
high-wealth elites still vote for the “right” (though less and less so). I argue
that this can contribute to explain rising inequality and the lack of democratic
response to it, as well as the rise of “populism”. I also discuss the origins of this
evolution (rise of globalization/migration cleavage, and/or educational expansion per
se) as well as future prospects: “multiple-elite” stabilization; complete realignment of
the party system along a “globalists” (high-education, high-income) vs “nativists” (loweducation,
low-income) cleavage; return to class-based redistributive conflict (either
from an internationalist or nativist perspective). Two main lessons emerge. First, with
multi-dimensional inequality, multiple political equilibria and bifurcations can occur.
Next, without a strong egalitarian-internationalist platform, it is difficult to unite loweducation,
low-income voters from all origins within the same party.

Leer más…

Este sitio web utiliza cookies para que usted tenga la mejor experiencia de usuario. Si continúa navegando está dando su consentimiento para la aceptación de las mencionadas cookies y la aceptación de nuestra política de cookies, pinche el enlace para mayor información.

Aviso de cookies