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The Few Notes on Universal Suffrage Morality


  • YANOVSKIY, Konstantin E.

    (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration)

  • ZHAVORONKOV, Sergei V.

    (Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy)


The Universal Suffrage introduction and subsequent rising of welfare state (nanny state) make the institution vulnerable to critics from the point of view of economists. Universal suffrage caused chronic budget deficit and increasing public debt burden during peacetime. Universal Suffrage defense is usually based on the following two claims: Universal Suffrage is an integral and basic component of real Rule of Law Democracy and Universal Suffrage has clear moral advantages compared with census limited participation. Our analysis shows the moral foundation of Universal Suffrage is even less solid than economic. Undeserved privilege is encouraging more and more people to drop their responsibilities for themselves and for their families, while securing their “right” to decide the country’s fate on the Day of Elections. New irresponsible and budget dependent voters create new opportunities for the bureaucrats seeking discretion power and additional funding for theirs bureaus. We stress reasonable doubt about Long Run compatibility of Universal Suffrage with constitutional foundations of Democracy (like property rights, free speech and more). Supporters of the Welfare state require that their power to rig elections be secured for the sake of fighting Discrimination. The same people often require that votes of their opponents be ignored (i. e. effectively denying opponents’ “right to vote”). As a result, one could observe now pretty broad consensus on the necessity to introduce (to restore) qualifications for voting.

Suggested Citation

  • YANOVSKIY, Konstantin E. & ZHAVORONKOV, Sergei V., 2017. "The Few Notes on Universal Suffrage Morality," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 6, pages 102-123, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:rnp:ecopol:ep1764

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Konstantin Yanovskiy & Sergey Zhavoronkov & Ilia Zatcovetsky & Vladimir Lisin & Dmitry Cherny & Sergey Shulgin, 2015. "Institutional Constraints on Modern Economic Growth," Working Papers 0112, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, revised 2015.
    2. Konstantin Yanovsky & Daniel Shestakov, 2013. "The Gender Role of the Government: some explanations of family crisis," Working Papers 0061, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, revised 2013.
    3. Carson, Thomas L., 2004. "Conflicts of Interest and Self-Dealing in the Professions: A Review Essay. Conflict of Interest in the Professions Michael Davis and Andrew Stark New York: Oxford University Press, 2001; ISBN 0-19-512," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(01), pages 161-182, January.
    4. Claudia Olivetti, 2014. "The Female Labor Force and Long-Run Development: The American Experience in Comparative Perspective," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital in History: The American Record, pages 161-197 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Przeworski, Adam, 2009. "Conquered or Granted? A History of Suffrage Extensions," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(02), pages 291-321, April.
    6. Walker, Robert, 2014. "The Shame of Poverty," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199684823.
    7. Aidt, T.S. & Dutta, Jayasri & Loukoianova, Elena, 2006. "Democracy comes to Europe: Franchise extension and fiscal outcomes 1830-1938," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 249-283, February.
    8. Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422.
    9. Lisa Blaydes & James Lo, 2012. "One man, one vote, one time? A model of democratization in the Middle East," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 24(1), pages 110-146, January.
    10. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-927, October.
    11. Konstantin Yanovskiy & Sergey Zhavoronkov & Ilia Zatcovetsky, 2015. "In defense of Private Discrimination: The case for religious freedom to deny services to individuals," Working Papers 0111, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, revised 2015.
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    More about this item


    Universal Suffrage; conflict of interest; bad incentives’ reproduction.;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies


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