AbstractWhy would a political elite voluntarily dilute its political power by extending the voting franchise? This paper develops a dynamic recursive framework for studying voter enfranchisement. We specify a class of dynamic games in which political rights evolve over time. Each period, private decisions of citizens co-mingle with government policies to act upon a state variable such as a capital stock, a public good, or the likelihood of an insurrection. Policies are determined by a pivotal decision maker in a potentially restricted franchise. The pivotal decision maker can also delegate decision authority to a new decision maker in the subsequent period. We describe conditions under which an equilibrium of this "dictator delegation game" corresponds to a majority vote decision by the enfranchised group to expand the set of citizens with voting rights. Under these conditions, each period's pivotal decision maker is a median voter who can designate authority to a new median of a larger voting franchise in the next period. We characterize the equilibria by their Euler equations. In certain games, the equilibria generate paths that display a gradual, sometimes uneven history of enfranchisement that is roughly consistent with observed patterns of extensions. Our main result shows that extensions of the franchise occur in a given period if and only if the private decisions of the citizenry have a net positive spillover to the dynamic payoff of the current median voter. The size of the extension depends on the size of the spillover. Since the class of games we study can accommodate a number of proposed explanations for franchise extension (e.g., the threat of insurrection, or ideological or class conflict within the elite, etc), the result suggests a common causal mechanism for these seemingly different explanations. We describe a number of parametric environments that correspond to the various explanations, and show how the mechanism works in each
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 UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 666156000000000030.
Date of creation: 05 Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.dklevine.com/
Other versions of this item:
- William Jack & Roger Lagunoff, 2003. "Dynamic Enfrachisement," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-03, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
- William Jack & Roger Lagunoff, 2003. "Dynamic Enfranchisement," Wallis Working Papers WP36, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
- Roger Lagunoff & William Jack, 2004. "Dynamic Enfranchisement," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 24, Econometric Society.
- Roger Lagunoff & William Jack, 2004. "Dynamic Enfranchisement," 2004 Meeting Papers 466, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- William Jack & Roger Lagunoff, 2003. "Dynamic Enfranchisement," Public Economics 0306002, EconWPA, revised 01 Jul 2003.
- C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy-Making and Implementation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2003-06-16 (All new papers)
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.:
- Fudenberg, Drew & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Folk Theorem in Repeated Games with Discounting or with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 533-54, May.
- 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.
- Roger Lagunoff (Georgetown University), 2005.
"Markov Equilibrium in Models of Dynamic Endogenous Political Institutions,"
gueconwpa~05-05-07, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
- Roger Lagunoff, 2005. "Markov Equilibrium in Models of Dynamic Endogenous Political Institutions," Game Theory and Information 0501003, EconWPA.
- Roger Lagunoff, 2007. "Markov Equilibrium in Models of Dynamic Endogenous Political Institutions," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000876, UCLA Department of Economics.
- 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.
- Klein, Paul & Krusell, Per & Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor, 2004.
"Time Consistent Public Expenditures,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
4582, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinksi, 1995.
"A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates,"
Department of Economics Working Papers
1995-01, McMaster University.
- Osborne, Martin J & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96, February.
- Barbera, S. & Maschler, M. & Shalev, J., 2001.
"Voting for Voters: A Model of Electoral Evolution,"
Games and Economic Behavior,
Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 40-78, October.
- Salvador Barberà & Michael Maschler & Jonathan Shalev, 1998. "Voting for Voters: A Model of Electoral Evolution," Game Theory and Information 9804001, EconWPA.
- BARBERA, Salvador & MASCHLER, Michael & SHALEV, Jonathan, 1998. "Voting for voters: a model of electoral evolution," CORE Discussion Papers 1998022, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Kevin Roberts, 1999. "Dynamic Voting in Clubs," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 367, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Roger Lagunoff, 2006.
"Dynamic Stability and Reform of Political Institutions,"
784828000000000051, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Lagunoff, Roger, 2009. "Dynamic stability and reform of political institutions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 569-583, November.
- Roger Lagunoff, 2005. "Dynamic Stability and Reform of Political Institutions," Game Theory and Information 0505006, EconWPA.
- 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.
- 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.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1999.
"A Theory of Political Transitions,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-30, March.
- Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
- Gans, Joshua S. & Smart, Michael, 1996. "Majority voting with single-crossing preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 219-237, February.
- Husted, Thomas A & Kenny, Lawrence W, 1997. "The Effect of the Expansion of the Voting Franchise on the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 54-82, February.
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: (David K. Levine).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.