Partisan Competition, Growth and the Franchise
AbstractThe nineteenth century was a time of substantial changes in the patterns of economic growth. This was also a period of significant fluctuations in the structure of and allocation of political rights. Through successive franchise extensions, democracy expanded dramatically, giving birth to the first wave of democratization. The concurrence of these changes in the patterns of economic growth and political voice are not coincidental. In this paper we develop a general equilibrium model of political competition in which ideological parties representing elites use the allocation of voting rights to influence implemented policies. In turn, these policies influence the character of economic growth. We find in the social structure of society an explanation for the connection between enfranchisement and growth: When (1) there exist an economic conflict among the elite, (2) the landed classes are not politically strong, and (3) there exists a critical mass of urban (industrial) workers, we observe both growth and democratization. The lack of conditions (1) or (2) resolves in stagnant autocracies while the absence of condition (3) drives growth-deterring democratic expansions. Hence, too much and too little democracy can be bad for growth. Furthermore, economic growth may, ceteris paribus, naturally lead to diffusion of voting rights.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 109.
Date of creation: Jan 2004
Date of revision:
Franchise; growth; political competition; elites; industrialization;
Other versions of this item:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
- N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
- O41 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
- P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1998.
"Why did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality and Growth in Historical Perspective,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1797, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did The West Extend The Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, And Growth In Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199, November.
- Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
- Greenwood, J., 1996.
"The Third Industrial Revolution,"
RCER Working Papers
435, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Kenneth L. Sokoloff & Stanley L. Engerman, 2000. "Institutions, Factor Endowments, and Paths of Development in the New World," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 217-232, Summer.
- Fleck, Robert K & Hanssen, F Andrew, 2006. "The Origins of Democracy: A Model with Application to Ancient Greece," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 115-46, April.
- Graziella Bertocchi, 2006.
"The Law of Primogeniture and the Transition from Landed Aristocracy to Industrial Democracy,"
Journal of Economic Growth,
Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 43-70, 03.
- Bertocchi, Graziella, 2003. "The Law of Primogeniture and the Transition from Landed Aristocracy to Industrial Democracy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3723, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Bourguignon, F. & Verdier, T., 1997.
"Oligarchy, Democracy, Inequality and Growth,"
DELTA Working Papers
97-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
- Toynbee, Arnold, 1884. "Lectures on the Industrial Revolution in England," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number toynbee1884.
- Saint-Paul, Gilles & Verdier, Thierry, 1993.
"Education, democracy and growth,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 399-407, December.
- Lee, Woojin, 2003. "Is democracy more expropriative than dictatorship? Tocquevillian wisdom revisited," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 155-198, June.
- John P. Conley & Akram Temimi, 2001. "Endogenous Enfranchisement When Groups' Preferences Conflict," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(1), pages 79-102, February.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1999.
"A Theory of Political Transitions,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Stanley L. Engerman & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2001.
"The Evolution of Suffrage Institutions in the New World,"
NBER Working Papers
8512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Engerman, Stanley L. & Sokoloff, Kenneth L., 2005. "The Evolution of Suffrage Institutions in the New World," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(04), pages 891-921, December.
- Justman, Moshe & Gradstein, Mark, 1999. "The Industrial Revolution, Political Transition, and the Subsequent Decline in Inequality in 19th-Century Britain," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 109-127, April.
- Theo S Eicher & Cecilia Garcia Penalosa, .
"Inequality and Growth,"
Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington
0083, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
- Roland Benabou, 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 96-129, March.
- Magnac, Thierry & Postel-Vinay, Gilles, 1997. "Wage Competition between Agriculture and Industry in Mid-Nineteenth Century France," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-26, January.
- Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1993.
"Is Inequality Harmful for Growth,"
537, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Alessandro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, 2004. "Why Did the Elites Extend the Suffrage? Democracy and the Scope of Government, With an Application to Britain's "Age of Reform"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 705-763, May.
- Douglas Gollin & Stephen Parente & Richard Rogerson, 2002.
"The Role of Agriculture in Development,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 160-164, May.
- Douglas Gollin & Stephen Parente & Richard Rogerson, 2002. "The Role of Agriculture in Development," Center for Development Economics 2002-09, Department of Economics, Williams College.
- Douglas Gollin & Stephen Parente & Richard Rogerson, 2002. "The Role of Agriculture in Development," Department of Economics Working Papers 2002-09, Department of Economics, Williams College.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bruno Guallar).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.