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Democratization as a cost-saving device

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  • Angeles, Luis

Abstract

We propose a theoretical analysis of democratization processes in which an elite extends the franchise to the poor when threatened with a revolution. The poor could govern without changing the political system by maintaining a continuous revolutionary threat on the elite. Revolutionary threats, however, are costly to the poor and democracy is a superior sys- tem in which political agreement is reached through costless voting. This provides a rationale for democratic transitions that has not been discussed in the literature.

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File URL: http://repo.sire.ac.uk/handle/10943/67
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Paper provided by Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE) in its series SIRE Discussion Papers with number 2008-54.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:67

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  1. William Jack (Georgetown University) and Roger Lagunoff (Georgetown University), 2005. "Social Conflict and Gradual Political Succession: An Illustrative Model," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-15, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  2. William Jack & Roger Lagunoff, 2003. "Dynamic Enfranchisement," Public Economics 0306002, EconWPA, revised 01 Jul 2003.
  3. Daron Acemoglu, 2007. "Oligarchic Versus Democratic Societies," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 47, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2008. "Persistence of Power, Elites, and Institutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 267-93, March.
  7. Cervellati, Matteo & Fortunato, Piergiuseppe & Sunde, Uwe, 2005. "Hobbes to Rousseau: Inequality, Institutions, and Development," IZA Discussion Papers 1450, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. 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.
  9. Cervellati, Matteo & Fortunato, Piergiuseppe & Sunde, Uwe, 2008. "Hobbes to rousseau: Inequality, institutions and development," Munich Reprints in Economics 20088, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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