Nolan McCarty

Nolan McCarty is Susan Dod Brown Professor of Politics and Public Affairs at Princeton University.

  • Polarized America, Second Edition

    Polarized America, Second Edition

    The Dance of Ideology and Unequal Riches

    Nolan McCarty, Keith T. Poole, and Howard Rosenthal

    Updated analysis of how the increasing polarization of American politics has been accompanied and accelerated by greater income inequality.

    The idea of America as politically polarized—that there is an unbridgeable divide between right and left, red and blue states—has become a cliché. What commentators miss, however, is that increasing polarization has been closely accompanied by fundamental social and economic changes—most notably, a parallel rise in income inequality. In this second edition of Polarized America, Nolan McCarty, Keith Poole, and Howard Rosenthal use the latest data to examine the relationships of polarization, wealth disparity, immigration, and other forces. They find that inequality feeds directly into political polarization, and polarization in turn creates policies that further increase inequality.

    Paul Krugman called the first edition of Polarized America “Important.... Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what's happening to America.” The second edition has been thoroughly brought up to date. All statistical analyses, tables, and figures have been updated with data that run through 2012 or 2014, and the text has been revised to reflect the latest evidence. The chapter on campaign finance has been completely rewritten (with Adam Bonica as coauthor); the analysis shows that with so much “soft” money coming from very wealthy ideological extremists, there is even greater campaign contribution inequality than income inequality.

    • Paperback $30.00
  • Polarized America

    Polarized America

    The Dance of Ideology and Unequal Riches

    Nolan McCarty, Keith T. Poole, and Howard Rosenthal

    The idea of America as politically polarized—that there is an unbridgeable divide between right and left, red and blue states—has become a cliché. What commentators miss, however, is that increasing polarization in recent decades has been closely accompanied by fundamental social and economic changes—most notably, a parallel rise in income inequality. In Polarized America, Nolan McCarty, Keith Poole, and Howard Rosenthal examine the relationships of polarization, wealth disparity, immigration, and other forces, characterizing it as a dance of give and take and back and forth causality. Using NOMINATE (a quantitative procedure that, like interest group ratings, scores politicians on the basis of their roll call voting records) to measure polarization in Congress and public opinion, census data and Federal Election Commission finance records to measure polarization among the public, the authors find that polarization and income inequality fell in tandem from 1913 to 1957 and rose together dramatically from 1977 on; they trace a parallel rise in immigration beginning in the 1970s. They show that Republicans have moved right, away from redistributive policies that would reduce income inequality. Immigration, meanwhile, has facilitated the move to the right: non-citizens, a larger share of the population and disproportionately poor, cannot vote; thus there is less political pressure from the bottom for redistribution than there is from the top against it. In "the choreography of American politics" inequality feeds directly into political polarization, and polarization in turn creates policies that further increase inequality.

    • Hardcover $8.75
    • Paperback $22.00

Contributor

  • Combating Inequality

    Combating Inequality

    Rethinking Government's Role

    Olivier Blanchard and Dani Rodrik

    Leading economists and policymakers consider what economic tools are most effective in reversing the rise in inequality.

    Economic inequality is the defining issue of our time. In the United States, the wealth share of the top 1% has risen from 25% in the late 1970s to around 40% today. The percentage of children earning more than their parents has fallen from 90% in the 1940s to around 50% today. In Combating Inequality, leading economists, many of them current or former policymakers, bring good news: we have the tools to reverse the rise in inequality. In their discussions, they consider which of these tools are the most effective at doing so.

    The contributors express widespread agreement that we need to aim policies at economic inequality itself; deregulation and economic stimulus will not do the job. No longer does anyone ask, in relation to expanded social programs, “Can we pay for it?” And most believe that US taxes will have to rise—although they debate whether the progressivity should focus on the revenue side or the expenditure side, through broad-based taxes like the VAT or through a wealth tax aimed at the very top of the income scale. They also consider the philosophical aspects of inequality—whether it is bad in itself or because of its consequences; the risks and benefits of more radical interventions to change the nature of production and trade; and future policy directions.

    Contributors

    Daron Acemoglu, Philippe Aghion, Danielle Allen, Ben Ansell, David Autor, Sheri Berman, Marianne Bertrand, Olivier Blanchard, Lucas Chancel, William Darity Jr., Peter Diamond, Christian Dustmann, David T. Ellwood, Richard Freeman, Caroline Freund, Jason Furman, Hilary Hoynes, Lawrence F. Katz, Wojciech Kopczuk, N. Gregory Mankiw, Nolan McCarty, Dani Rodrik, Jesse Rothstein, Emmanuel Saez, T. M. Scanlon, Heidi Shierholz, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Stefanie Stantcheva, Michael Stynes, Laura D'Andrea Tyson, Philippe Van Parijs, Gabriel Zucman

    • Hardcover $34.95