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Workers of the World, Unite! Franchise Extensions and the Threat of Revolution in Europe, 1820-1938

  • Toke Aidt
  • Peter S. Jensen

This paper tests the hypothesis that the extension of the voting franchise was caused by the threat of revolution, as suggested by Acemoglu and Robinson [Quarterly Journal of Economics 115, 1167-1199, 2000]. We approximate the threat of revolution in a given country by revolutionary events happening in neighboring countries. We investigate the relationship between this new measure of the threat of revolution and measures of suffrage reform in two samples of European countries covering the period from 1820 to 1938. We find strong support for the ‘threat of revolution theory’. We also find some evidence that war triggered suffrage reform, whereas other theories of the extension of the franchise, including ‘modernization theory’, receive little support.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2011/wp-cesifo-2011-04/cesifo1_wp3417.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3417.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3417
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  1. Davide Ticchi & Andrea Vindigni, 2007. "War and Endogenous Democracy," Working Papers 0715, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2007.
  2. William Jack & Roger Lagunoff, 2003. "Dynamic Enfranchisement," Wallis Working Papers WP36, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  3. Husted, Thomas A & Kenny, Lawrence W, 1997. "The Effect of the Expansion of the Voting Franchise on the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 54-82, February.
  4. Humberto Llavador & Robert J. Oxoby, 2004. "Partisan Competition, Growth and the Franchise," Working Papers 109, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  5. 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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  7. Jacks, David S. & Meissner, Christopher M. & Novy, Dennis, 2010. "Trade costs in the first wave of globalization," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 127-141, April.
  8. Erich Gundlach & Martin Paldam, 2008. "A Farewell to Critical Junctures: Sorting Out Long-run Causality of Income and Democracy," Kiel Working Papers 1410, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  9. Novy, Dennis, 2006. "Trade Costs and the Open Macroeconomy," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 778, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  10. Justman, Moshe & Gradstein, Mark, 1999. "The Industrial Revolution, Political Transition, and the Subsequent Decline in Inequality in 19th-Century Britain," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 109-127, April.
  11. Lindert Peter H., 1994. "The Rise of Social Spending, 1880-1930," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-37, January.
  12. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
  13. 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.
  14. Casey B. Mulligan & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "The Extent of the Market and the Supply of Regulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1445-1473, November.
  15. Barro, Robert J., 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Scholarly Articles 3451297, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  16. Aidt, T.S. & Jense , P.S., 2007. "Tax Structure, Size of Government, and the Extension of the Voting Franchise in Western Europe, 1860-1938," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0715, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  17. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2005. "Income and Democracy," NBER Working Papers 11205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Giovanni S.F. Bruno, 2005. "Estimation and inference in dynamic unbalanced panel data models with a small number of individuals," KITeS Working Papers 165, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Jun 2005.
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  21. Buyst, Erik, 1997. "New GNP Estimates for the Belgian Economy during the Interwar Period," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(3), pages 357-75, September.
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  23. Ruth A. Judson & Ann L. Owen, 1997. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a practical guide for macroeconomists," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-3, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  24. J. Ernesto Lopez-Cordova & Christopher M. Meissner, 2005. "The Globalization of Trade and Democracy, 1870-2000," NBER Working Papers 11117, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Aidt, Toke S. & Jensen, Peter S., 2009. "The taxman tools up: An event history study of the introduction of the personal income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 160-175, February.
  26. Roger Congleton, 2004. "Economic Development and Democracy. Does Industrialization Lead to Universal Suffrage?," Homo Oeconomicus, Institute of SocioEconomics, vol. 21, pages 283-314.
  27. Congleton, Roger D., 2007. "From royal to parliamentary rule without revolution: The economics of constitutional exchange within divided governments," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 261-284, June.
  28. 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.
  29. Falkinger, Josef, 1999. "Social instability and redistribution of income," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 35-51, March.
  30. Meissner, Christopher M., 2005. "A new world order: explaining the international diffusion of the gold standard, 1870-1913," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 385-406, July.
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  32. 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.
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