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Democratization as a cost-saving device

  • Luis Angeles

We propose a theoretical analysis of democratization processes in which an elite extends the franchise to the poor when threatened with a revo- lution. The poor could govern without changing the political system by maintaining a continuous revolutionary threat on the elite. Revolutionary threats, however, are costly to the poor and democracy is a superior sys- tem in which political agreement is reached through costless voting. This provides a rationale for democratic transitions that has not been discussed in the literature

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Paper provided by Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow in its series Working Papers with number 2008_31.

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Date of creation: Nov 2008
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Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2008_31
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  1. Daron Acemoglu, 2007. "Oligarchic Versus Democratic Societies," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 47, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  2. 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.
  3. William Jack (Georgetown University) and Roger Lagunoff (Georgetown University), 2005. "Social Conflict and Gradual Political Succession: An Illustrative Model," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-15, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  4. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2008. "Persistence of Power, Elites, and Institutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 267-93, March.
  5. William Jack & Roger Lagunoff, 2003. "Dynamic Enfranchisement," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000030, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2006. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521855266, Junio.
  7. Cervellati, Matteo & Fortunato, Piergiuseppe & Sunde, Uwe, 2008. "Hobbes to rousseau: Inequality, institutions and development," Munich Reprints in Economics 20088, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  8. Tatu Vanhanen, 2000. "A New Dataset for Measuring Democracy, 1810-1998," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 37(2), pages 251-265, March.
  9. Fleck, Robert K & Hanssen, F Andrew, 2006. "The Origins of Democracy: A Model with Application to Ancient Greece," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 115-46, April.
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