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The Political Consequences of Franchise Extension: Evidence from the Second Reform Act

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  • Berlinski, Samuel
  • Dewan, Torun

Abstract

We use evidence from the Second Reform Act, introduced in the United Kingdom in 1867, to analyze the impact on electoral outcomes of extending the vote to the unskilled urban population. Exploiting the sharp change in the electorate caused by franchise extension, we separate the effect of reform from that of underlying constituency level traits correlated with the voting population. Although we find that the franchise affected electoral competition and candidate selection, there is no evidence relating Liberal electoral support to changes in the franchise rules. Our results are robust to various sources of endogeneity.

Suggested Citation

  • Berlinski, Samuel & Dewan, Torun, 2011. "The Political Consequences of Franchise Extension: Evidence from the Second Reform Act," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 6(3–4), pages 329-376, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:jlqjps:100.00011013
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00011013
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    Cited by:

    1. Aidt, T.S. & Jensen, P.S., 2012. "From Open to Secret Ballot: Vote Buying and Modernization," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1221, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. Valentino Larcinese, 2014. "Enfranchisement and Representation: Evidence from the Introduction of Quasi-Universal Suffrage in Italy," Working Papers 512, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    3. Valentino Larcinese, 2011. "Enfranchisement and Representation: Italy 1909-1913," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 032, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    4. Dewan, Torun & Meriläinen, Jaakko & Tukiainen, Janne, 2018. "Victorian Voting: Party Orientation and Class Alignment Revisited," Working Papers 103, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Verena Kroth & Valentino Larcinese & Joachim Wehner, 2016. "A Better Life for All? Democratization and Electrification in Post-Apartheid South Africa," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 60, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & Suresh Naidu & Pascual Restrepo & James A. Robinson, 2013. "Democracy, Redistribution and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 19746, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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