Institutional persistence, income inequality, and individual attitudes

Alberto Chong, Mark Gradstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aspects of institutional quality vary substantially across countries, but are quite persistent over time. Further, institutional quality is correlated with income inequality, even among democracies. To account for these regularities, we offer a model where individual attitudes, toward inequality or trust in government, feature in voters’ preferences. The model displays path dependence, whereby inequality and institutional quality feed each other. It is suggested that this may explain the long shadow of historical legacies of postcolonial experiences. Simple correlations of reported attitudes using data from the World Values Surveys are consistent with the model.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)401-413
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Economic Inequality
Issue number3
StatePublished - 15 Sep 2019


  • Attitudes
  • Inequality
  • Institutional persistence

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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