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Enfranchisement, Intra-Elite Conflict and Bargaining

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  • Ghosal, Sayantan

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

  • Proto, Eugenio

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

Abstract

Does power sharing between competing elites result in franchise extension to non-elites? In this paper, we argue that competing, risk-averse elites will enfranchise non-elites as in-surance against future, uncertain imbalances in relative bargaining power. We show that negligibly small changes in the bargaining power of non-elites, conditional on enfranchisment, via coalition formation, constrains the bargaining power of the stronger elite and result in discontinuous changes in equilibrium surplus division. Our results are robust to public good provision following enfranchisement when there is reference heterogeneity over the location of the public good across the different elites. We conclude with a comparative analysis of Indian democracy and show that our model is able to account for some of the distinctive features of Indian democracy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 750.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:750

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Keywords: enfranchisemnt ; elite ; non-elites ; conflict ; bargaining ; risk-sharing ; Indian democracy;

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  1. Nicola Persico & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2001. "The Provision of Public Goods under Alternative Electoral Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 225-239, March.
  2. Humberto Llavador & Robert J. Oxoby, 2005. "Partisan Competition, Growth, and the Franchise," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1155-1192, August.
  3. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Das Human Kapital," Working Papers 2000-17, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S158-S183, December.
  6. 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.
  7. Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson, 1999. "A Theory of Political Transitions," Working papers 99-26, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. Graziella Bertocchi, 2006. "The Law of Primogeniture and the Transition from Landed Aristocracy to Industrial Democracy," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 43-70, 03.
  9. 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.
  10. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2008. "Income and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 808-42, June.
  11. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Soumyanetra Munshi, 2011. "Enfranchisement from a political perspective," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 21-57, March.

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