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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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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  6. 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.
  7. 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.
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  10. Humberto Llavador & Robert J. Oxoby, 2004. "Partisan Competition, Growth and the Franchise," Working Papers 109, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  11. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2009. "Democratic Capital: The Nexus of Political and Economic Change," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 88-126, July.
  12. 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.
  13. William Jack & Roger Lagunoff, 2003. "Dynamic Enfrachisement," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-03, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  14. David S. Jacks & Christopher M. Meissner & Dennis Novy, 2006. "Trade Costs in the First Wave of Globalization," NBER Working Papers 12602, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Roger Congleton, 2004. "Economic Development and Democracy. Does Industrialization Lead to Universal Suffrage?," Homo Oeconomicus, Institute of SocioEconomics, vol. 21, pages 283-314.
  16. 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.
  17. Gundlach, Erich & Paldam, Martin, 2009. "A farewell to critical junctures: Sorting out long-run causality of income and democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 340-354, September.
  18. 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.
  19. Falkinger, Josef, 1999. "Social instability and redistribution of income," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 35-51, March.
  20. Toke Aidt & Peter Jensen, 2009. "Tax structure, size of government, and the extension of the voting franchise in Western Europe, 1860–1938," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 362-394, June.
  21. 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.).
  22. Novy, Dennis, 2006. "Trade Costs and the Open Macroeconomy," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 778, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2008. "Income and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 808-42, June.
  26. 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.
  27. Jacks, David S., 2005. "Intra- and international commodity market integration in the Atlantic economy, 1800-1913," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 381-413, July.
  28. 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.
  29. Fearon, James D, 2003. " Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
  30. Lindert Peter H., 1994. "The Rise of Social Spending, 1880-1930," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-37, January.
  31. 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.
  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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