Found 9 article(s) for author 'Torben Iversen'

The Political Representation of Economic Interests: Subversion of Democracy or Middle-Class Supremacy?

The Political Representation of Economic Interests: Subversion of Democracy or Middle-Class Supremacy? Torben Iversen, 2018, Paper, “A new and highly-cited literature on redistribution and economic policy-making paints a gloomy picture of democracy, which we refer to as the Subversion of Democracy Model (SDM). It comes in two varieties. One uses public opinion data to show that policies are strongly biased towards to the preferences of the rich; another uses macrolevel data on inequality and redistribution to show that democratic governments are no longer responding to rising inequality. This paper is a critical reassessment of this literature. We point to methodological and theoretical issues that may bias the results, and we propose solutions that point to a very different interpretation of the data, which we refer to as the Representative Democracy Model (RDM).Link

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Redistribution Without a Median Voter: Models of Multidimensional Politics

Redistribution Without a Median Voter: Models of Multidimensional Politics. Torben Iversen, May 2018, Paper, “Most work on redistribution in democracies is anchored in long-standing unidimensional models, notably the seminal Meltzer-Richard-Romer model. When scholars venture outside the security of unidimensionality, many either abandon theoretical rigor or miss the full consequences of adding more dimensions (whether ideological or economic). There is now a substantial literature on redistributive politics in multidimensional policy spaces, but it tends to be very technical and frequently misinterpreted, if not ignored. This purpose of this article is to review this relatively new literature using simple graphical representations,Link

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The welfare state with private alternatives: The transformation of popular support for social insurance

The welfare state with private alternatives: The transformation of popular support for social insurance. Torben Iversen, November 2017, Paper, “Private alternatives to the public provision of welfare state services and benefits have expanded in almost all OECD countries over the past decades. In this paper, we study how this change affects patterns of public support for the welfare state and, in the long term, the political sustainability of solidaristic social policies. Our core argument is that the availability of private alternatives undermines support for public provision of social insurance policies, in particular among the middle and upper income classes, whose political support is crucial for the political viability of the universalist welfare state regime. We test our theoretical claim empirically with survey data from the ISSP Role of Government module for 20 OECD countries.Link

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The Market for Creampuffs: Big Data and the Transformation of the Welfare State

The Market for Creampuffs: Big Data and the Transformation of the Welfare State. Torben Iversen, April 2016, Paper. “The literature on the welfare state assumes, often implicitly but almost universally, that social insurance can or will be provided through the state. This assumption is based on economic models of insurance that show the propensity for market failure when information is limited and privately held. With the data revolution this is no longer a satisfactory approach, and this paper asks what happens when information rises and can be credibly shared with insures. Our model shows that Big Data alters the politics of social insurance by increasing polarization over the level and cost-sharing of public provision, and sometimes by creating majorities for a shift towards segmented and inegalitarian private markets (a shift that is conditioned by government partisanship).Link

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Information, Inequality and Mass Polarization: Ideology in Advanced Democracies

Information, Inequality and Mass Polarization: Ideology in Advanced Democracies. Torben Iversen, 2015, Paper. “Growing polarization in the American Congress is closely related to rising income inequality. Yet there has been no corresponding polarization of the US electorate, and across advanced democracies mass polarization is negatively related to income inequality. To explain this puzzle we propose a comparative political economy model of mass polarization in which the same institutional factors that generate income inequality also undermine political information. We explain why more voters then place themselves...” Link

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Democratic Limits to Redistribution: Inclusionary versus Exclusionary Coalitions in the Knowledge Economy

Democratic Limits to Redistribution: Inclusionary versus Exclusionary Coalitions in the Knowledge Economy. Torben Iversen, February 24, 2015, Paper. “The knowledge economy, deindustrialization, and the decline of Fordism have undermined the economic complementarities that once existed between skilled and semiskilled workers. The result has everywhere been a decline in coordinated wage bargaining and unionization and a notable rise in labor market inequality. Yet, the political responses have been very different across advanced democracies…” Link

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Politics for Markets

Politics for Markets. Torben Iversen, February 2015, Paper. “We argue that the welfare state operates very differently in the advanced sectors of modern economies and in the low-skill sectors. Governments are concerned to promote the advanced sectors of their economies in which they have comparative advantage. This is a valence issue not a partisan one. Where companies and employees in advanced sectors co-invest heavily in company-specific skills, then governments will be concerned to maintain insurance infrastructures to underwrite these investments…” Link

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Inequality, Labor Market Segmentation, and Preferences for Redistribution.

Inequality, Labor Market Segmentation, and Preferences for Redistribution. James Alt, Torben Iversen, August 11, 2014, Paper, “We formalize and examine two overlapping models that show how rising inequality combined with ethnic and racial heterogeneity can explain why many advanced industrial countries have experienced a drop in support for redistribution as inequality has risen. One model, based on altruism and homophily, focuses on the effect of increasing ‘social distance’ between the poor and the middle class, especially when minorities are increasingly overrepresented among the very poor.Link

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LIBERAL DIFFERENCES: Co-evolutionary patterns of advanced capitalism and political institutions in the UK and the US from the industrial revolution to the 1920s

LIBERAL DIFFERENCES: Co-evolutionary patterns of advanced capitalism and political institutions in the UK and the US from the industrial revolution to the 1920s. Torben Iversen,  October 2011, Paper. “Remarkably little comparative work has been on the coevolution of the institutions of modern capitalism and of democratic politics in the US and the UK. We suggest in this paper that the differences may be as illuminating as the similarities. In the early nineteenth century, the political institutions of the UK and the US had many points in common…” Link

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