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Democratic Errors

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  • Christopher J. Ellis
  • John Fender
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    Abstract

    We combine Acemoglu and Robinson’s model of the economic origins of democracy with Lohmann’s model of political mass protest. This allows us to analyze the economic causes of political regime change based on the microfoundations of revolution. We are able to derive conditions under which democracy arises peacefully, when it occurs only after a revolution, and when oligarchy persists. We model these possibilities in a world of asymmetric information where information cascades are possible, and where these cascades may involve errors in the sense that they make everyone worse off.

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    File URL: ftp://ftp.bham.ac.uk/pub/RePEc/pdf/10-03.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Birmingham in its series Discussion Papers with number 10-03.

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    Length: 35 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:10-03

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    Postal: Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT
    Web page: http://www.economics.bham.ac.uk
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    Keywords: Democracy; Information Cascades; Revolution;

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    1. Sargent, Thomas J & Velde, Francois R, 1995. "Macroeconomic Features of the French Revolution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 474-518, June.
    2. Stanley Fischer & Ratna Sahay & Carlos A. Végh Gramont, 2002. "Modern Hyper- and High Inflations," IMF Working Papers 02/197, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Gale, D. & Chamley, C., 1992. "Information Revelation and Strategic Delay in a Model of Investment," Papers 10, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    4. Jack, William & Lagunoff, Roger, 2006. "Dynamic enfranchisement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 551-572, May.
    5. Lohmann, Susanne, 1994. "Information Aggregation through Costly Political Action," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 518-30, June.
    6. Humberto Llavador & Robert Oxoby, 2003. "Partisan competition, growth and the franchise," Economics Working Papers 730, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Sep 2004.
    7. 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.
    8. Jody Overland & Kenneth Simons & Michael Spagat, 2005. "Political instability and growth in dictatorships," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 125(3), pages 445-470, December.
    9. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010. "A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1193, David K. Levine.
    10. Bose, Subir & Orosel, Gerhard O & Ottaviani, Marco & Vesterlund, Lise, 2005. "Dynamic Monopoly Pricing and Herding," CEPR Discussion Papers 5003, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Mau, Vladimir & Starodubrovskaia, Irina, 2001. "The Challenge of Revolution: Contemporary Russia in Historical Perspective," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199241507, September.
    12. Morris, S & Song Shin, H, 1996. "Unique Equilibrium in a Model of Self-Fulfilling Currency Attacks," Economics Papers 126, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. Subir Bose & Gerhard Orosel & Marco Ottaviani & Lise Vesterlund, 2006. "Dynamic monopoly pricing and herding," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 910-928, December.
    16. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:i:4:p:910-928 is not listed on IDEAS
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