Democratic Voting and Social Exclusion
This paper explores the political determinants of societies' tolerance for social exclusion on the basis of ethnicity, religion, or race. We develop a political-economic model of social exclusion with three main features. First, each individual living in this society must submit a political proposals regarding the extent to which society must tolerance social exclusion. Second, depending on the realized degree of society's tolerance for social exclusion, each population group comprising the society must decide on how much resources to expend in order to exclude rival groups from, or include its members in, the public allocation of education resources. Third, allocation of resources to participation in the exclusion contest trades off private investment in child's human capital. To the extent that population size is, at least initially, the only source of asymmetry between rival groups, our analysis suggests that the introduction of democratic voting may not be sufficient to save small, but visible, minorities from social exclusion. Only where this asymmetric is moderate, can the introduction of democratic voting suffice to eliminate social exclusion.
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