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Affluence and congruence: unequal representation around the world

Lupu, Noam and Warner, Zach ORCID: 2022. Affluence and congruence: unequal representation around the world. Journal of Politics 84 (1) , pp. 276-290.

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Do elected representatives reflect the preferences of the citizens they represent? Recent studiesfrom the U.S. and a number of other democracies have found that legislators tend to representbetter the preferences of affluent citizens. But we still know little about how widespread this biasis. To answer this question, we gathered every publicly available survey of elected representativesin the world and matched it with mass survey data. Our dataset consists of 92,000 eliteobservations and 3.9 million citizen observations spread across 565 country-years, 52 individualcountries, and 33 years. Using a variety of methods, we find that around the world, legislators’preferences are consistently more congruent with those of affluent citizens. However, we also findthat this inequality varies substantially by issue domain: while the affluent are better representedon economic issues, the poor seem to be over-represented on cultural issues.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff Law & Politics
Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISSN: 0022-3816
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 July 2020
Date of Acceptance: 27 September 2020
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 06:20

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