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The Development and Decline of Medieval Voting Institutions: A Comparison of England and France

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  • Barzel, Yoram
  • Kiser, Edgar

Abstract

This paper argues that, in the middle ages, voting institutions emerged as mechanisms that allowed rulers to cooperate with subjects on mutually profitable projects. In spite of their utility, many of these voting institutions eventually declined. The authors test the model on the English parliament and the French estates general. The historical evidence strongly supports their view that these institutions declined in France, but not in England, due to increases in the heterogeneity of voters' interests and the insecurity of French rulers, since these factors made cooperation between French rulers and their subjects more difficult. Copyright 1997 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Barzel, Yoram & Kiser, Edgar, 1997. "The Development and Decline of Medieval Voting Institutions: A Comparison of England and France," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(2), pages 244-260, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:35:y:1997:i:2:p:244-60
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    Cited by:

    1. Jeremy Horpedahl, 2011. "Political exchange and the voting franchise: universal democracy as an emergent process," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 203-220, September.
    2. Jim Rose & Simon Hay, 2001. "Three Steps Towards More Effective Development Assistance," Treasury Working Paper Series 01/26, New Zealand Treasury.
    3. Mark Koyama, 2010. "The political economy of expulsion: the regulation of Jewish moneylending in medieval England," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 374-406, December.
    4. Barzel, Yoram, 1997. "Parliament as a wealth-maximizing institution: The right to the residual and the right to vote," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 455-474, December.

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