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Grey power and the economy: ageing and inflation across advanced economies

Vlandas, T. (2018) Grey power and the economy: ageing and inflation across advanced economies. Comparative Political Studies, 51 (4). pp. 514-552. ISSN 0010-4140

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/0010414017710261


What explains the cross-national variation in inflation rates across countries? In contrast to most literature, which emphasises the role of ideas and institutions, this paper focuses on electoral politics and argues that ageing leads to lower inflation rates. Countries with a larger share of elderly exhibit lower inflation because older people are both more inflation averse and politically powerful, forcing parties seeking their votes to pursue lower inflation. Logistic regression analyses of survey data confirm that (1) older people are more inflation averse and (2) more likely to punish incumbents for inflation. Panel data regression analysis shows that (3) social democratic parties have more economically orthodoxy manifestos in European countries with more elderly people and that (4) the share of elderly is negatively correlated with inflation in both a sample of 21 OECD economies and a larger sample of 175 countries. Ageing therefore pushes governments to pursue lower inflation.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:70761


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