The Retrenchment Hypothesis and the Extension of the Franchise in England and Wales
AbstractDoes local democracy help or hinder the solution of collective action problems? We study this question in the context of public spending on health-related urban amenities in a panel of 75 municipal boroughs in England and Wales in 1868, 1871 and 1886. We .nd evidence of a U-shaped relationship between spending on urban amenities and the extension of the local voting franchise. We argue that this retrenchment e¤ect arose because middle class taxpayers were unwilling to pay the cost of poor sanitation and the urban elites, elected on a narrow franchise, were instrumental for sanitary improvements. Our model of taxpayer democracy suggests that the retrenchment e¤ect is related to forced enfranchisement of the middle class through nation-wide reforms.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0818.
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
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Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm
Voting franchise; retrenchment; local public goods; sanitation.;
Other versions of this item:
- TokeS. Aidt & Martin Daunton & Jayasri Dutta, 2010. "The Retrenchment Hypothesis and the Extension of the Franchise in England and Wales," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(547), pages 990-1020, 09.
- D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
- D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy-Making and Implementation
- H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
- N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-06-21 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2008-06-21 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-HIS-2008-06-21 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-PBE-2008-06-21 (Public Economics)
- NEP-POL-2008-06-21 (Positive Political Economics)
- NEP-URE-2008-06-21 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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