Athens – An Incidental Democracy. A case of unintended consequences of institutional change
AbstractAround 600 B.C., Athens was ruled by a birth aristocracy. Some 150 years later, the city-state was a “democracy”. A rational-actor perspective, as perceived in the new institutional economics, sheds additional light on this intriguing transformation by focussing our attention on the incentives of individual actors, for example. Furthermore, it illustrates the unpredictable nature of the long-run consequences of institutional change. Repeatedly, a result of the intra-elite competition for power was that members of the elite unwittingly contributed to the changes that eventually undermined their own dominant position as a group.
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 Lund University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2004:19.
Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: 30 Jul 2004
Date of revision: 19 Nov 2004
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund,Sweden
Phone: +46 +46 222 0000
Fax: +46 +46 2224613
Web page: http://www.nek.lu.se/
More information through EDIRC
institutional change; unintended; democracy; Athens;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-08-09 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2004-08-09 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-HPE-2004-08-09 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- George Tridimas, 2011. "A political economy perspective of direct democracy in ancient Athens," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 58-82, March.
- Lyttkens, Carl Hampus, 2008. "Institutions, taxation, and market relationships in ancient Athens," Working Papers 2008:9, Lund University, Department of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Edgerton).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.