Three Facets of Political Inequality: Evidence from Citizen Consultations in Kampala
Political inequality can take the form of gaps in citizens’ voice (input inequality), in the responsiveness of political systems (throughput inequality), and in how outcomes favor citizens differently (output inequality). We seek to disentangle these dimensions of political inequality in a study of 188 citizen consultative meetings organized as part of Kampala’s Citizens’ Charter process. Exploiting random assignment into meetings and meeting structures as well as data on pre-meeting preferences, meeting participation, and collective outcomes, we find clear evidence of input inequality, notably along gender lines, some evidence of throughput inequality—also on gender lines—but little evidence of substantial output inequality. Analysis of a structural model suggests outcomes can be explained by a contestation function in which citizen’s ‘power’ is a function of gender and wealth. The results highlight the independence of dimensions as well as the scope for ensuring equitable outputs despite inequalities in inputs.
Manuel Bosancianu is Research Fellow of the WZB Research Unit Institutions and Political Inequality.
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