Weak Parties and the Inequality Trap in Latin America

  • Large majorities of Latin Americans support redistribution, but governments are not responding to public demands to reduce inequality.


  • Surveys show that the economic preferences of poorer Latin Americans are not reflected in the legislatures they elect.


  • One important reason is that strong, institutionalized political parties are necessary to achieve broad-based redistributive policy agendas.


  • Yet, Latin American party systems are persistently weak, the result of institutional as well as structural factors.


  • Structurally high levels of inequality undermine party institutionalization, creating a kind of inequality trap.

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