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Democratization as a cost-saving device

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  • Luis Angeles

Abstract

We propose a theoretical analysis of democratization processes in which an elite extends the franchise to the poor when threatened with a revo- lution. 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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Paper provided by Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow in its series Working Papers with number 2008_31.

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Date of creation: Nov 2008
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Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2008_31

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  1. 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.
  2. William Jack & Roger Lagunoff, 2006. "Social Conflict and Gradual Political Succession: An Illustrative Model," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(4), pages 703-725, December.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2006. "Persistence of Power, Elites and Institutions," NBER Working Papers 12108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. William Jack & Roger Lagunoff, 2003. "Dynamic Enfrachisement," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-03, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  6. Daron Acemoglu, 2007. "Oligarchic Versus Democratic Societies," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 47, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  7. 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.
  8. Matteo Cervellati & Piergiuseppe Fortunato & Uwe Sunde, 2008. "Hobbes to Rousseau: Inequality, Institutions and Development," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(531), pages 1354-1384, 08.
  9. 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.
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