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Democratic Errors

  • Christopher J. Ellis
  • John Fender

We combine Acemoglu and Robinson’s model of the economic origins of democracy with Lohmann’s model of political mass protest. This allows us to analyze the economic causes of political regime change based on the microfoundations of revolution. We are able to derive conditions under which democracy arises peacefully, when it occurs only after a revolution, and when oligarchy persists. We model these possibilities in a world of asymmetric information where information cascades are possible, and where these cascades may involve errors in the sense that they make everyone worse off.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.bham.ac.uk/pub/RePEc/pdf/10-03.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Birmingham in its series Discussion Papers with number 10-03.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:10-03
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT

Web page: http://www.economics.bham.ac.uk

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  1. Overland, Jody & Simons, Kenneth L & Spagat, Michael, 2000. "Political Instability and Growth in Dictatorships," CEPR Discussion Papers 2653, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Aftalion,Florin, 1990. "The French Revolution," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521368100, june. pag.
  3. 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.
  4. Roger Lagunoff & William Jack, 2004. "Dynamic Enfranchisement," 2004 Meeting Papers 466, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Subir Bose & Gerhard Orosel & Marco Ottaviani & Lise Vesterlund, 2006. "Dynamic monopoly pricing and herding," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 910-928, December.
  6. Christopher Ellis & John Fender, 2009. "The economic evolution of democracy," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 119-145, April.
  7. Stanley Fischer & Ratna Sahay & Carlos A. Vegh, 2002. "Modern Hyper- and High Inflations," NBER Working Papers 8930, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Christopher J. Ellis & John Fender, 2007. "Public Sector Capital and the Transition from Dictatorship to Democracy," Discussion Papers 07-14, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  9. Humberto Llavador & Robert J. Oxoby, 2004. "Partisan Competition, Growth and the Franchise," Working Papers 109, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  10. Morris, Stephen & Shin, Hyun Song, 1998. "Unique Equilibrium in a Model of Self-Fulfilling Currency Attacks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 587-97, June.
  11. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:i:4:p:910-928 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422, june. pag.
  13. Sargent, Thomas J & Velde, Francois R, 1995. "Macroeconomic Features of the French Revolution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 474-518, June.
  14. Chamley, Christophe & Gale, Douglas, 1994. "Information Revelation and Strategic Delay in a Model of Investment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 1065-85, September.
  15. Mau, Vladimir & Starodubrovskaia, Irina, 2001. "The Challenge of Revolution: Contemporary Russia in Historical Perspective," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199241507, May.
  16. Lohmann, Susanne, 1994. "Information Aggregation through Costly Political Action," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 518-30, June.
  17. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
  18. 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.
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