IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wpa/wuwppe/0306002.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Dynamic Enfranchisement

Author

Listed:
  • William Jack

    (Georgetown University)

  • Roger Lagunoff

    (Georgetown University)

Abstract

Why would a political elite voluntarily dilute its political power by extending the voting franchise? This paper develops a dynamic recursive framework for studying voter enfranchisement. We specify a class of dynamic games in which political rights evolve over time. Each period, private decisions of citizens co-mingle with government policies to act upon a state variable such as a capital stock, a public good, or the likelihood of an insurrection. Policies are determined by a pivotal decision maker in a potentially restricted franchise. The pivotal decision maker can also delegate decision authority to a new decision maker in the subsequent period. We describe conditions under which an equilibrium of this "dictator delegation game" corresponds to a majority vote decision by the enfranchised group to expand the set of citizens with voting rights. Under these conditions, each period's pivotal decision maker is a median voter who can designate authority to a new median of a larger voting franchise in the next period. We characterize the equilibria by their Euler equations. In certain games, the equilibria generate paths that display a gradual, sometimes uneven history of enfranchisement that is roughly consistent with observed patterns of extensions. Our main result shows that extensions of the franchise occur in a given period \emph{if and only if} the private decisions of the citizenry have a net positive spillover to the dynamic payoff of the current median voter. The size of the extension depends on the size of the spillover. Since the class of games we study can accommodate a number of proposed explanations for franchise extension (e.g., the threat of insurrection, or ideological or class conflict within the elite, etc), the result suggests a common causal mechanism for these seemingly different explanations. We describe a number of parametric environments that correspond to the various explanations, and show how the mechanism works in each.

Suggested Citation

  • William Jack & Roger Lagunoff, 2003. "Dynamic Enfranchisement," Public Economics 0306002, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 Nov 2003.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0306002
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on IBM PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 36 ; figures: included
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de/econ-wp/pe/papers/0306/0306002.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. William Jack & Roger Lagunoff, 2003. "Dynamic Enfranchisement," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000030, UCLA Department of Economics.
    2. Jack, William & Lagunoff, Roger, 2006. "Dynamic enfranchisement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 551-572, May.
    3. 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.
    4. Gans, Joshua S. & Smart, Michael, 1996. "Majority voting with single-crossing preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 219-237, February.
    5. Lagunoff, Roger, 2009. "Dynamic stability and reform of political institutions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 569-583, November.
    6. Roberts, Kevin, 2015. "Dynamic voting in clubs," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 320-335.
    7. Paul Klein & Per Krusell & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2004. "Time-Consistent Public Expenditures," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000652, UCLA Department of Economics.
    8. Barbera, S. & Maschler, M. & Shalev, J., 2001. "Voting for Voters: A Model of Electoral Evolution," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 40-78, October.
    9. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2001. "A Theory of Political Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 938-963, September.
    10. Drew Fudenberg & Eric Maskin, 2008. "The Folk Theorem In Repeated Games With Discounting Or With Incomplete Information," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Drew Fudenberg & David K Levine (ed.), A Long-Run Collaboration On Long-Run Games, chapter 11, pages 209-230, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    11. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
    12. Roger Lagunoff, 2005. "Markov Equilibrium in Models of Dynamic Endogenous Political Institutions," Game Theory and Information 0501003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
    14. 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 115-146, April.
    15. 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.
    16. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1978. "Intermediate Preferences and the Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 317-330, March.
    17. Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
    18. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Roger Lagunoff, 2004. "The Dynamic Reform of Political Institutions," Working Papers gueconwpa~04-04-07, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
    2. Roger Lagunoff (Georgetown University), 2005. "Markov Equilibrium in Models of Dynamic Endogenous Political Institutions," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-07, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
    3. Lagunoff, Roger, 2009. "Dynamic stability and reform of political institutions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 569-583, November.
    4. Roger Lagunoff, 2007. "Markov Equilibrium in Models of Dynamic Endogenous Political Institutions," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000876, UCLA Department of Economics.
    5. Jinhui H. Bai & Roger Lagunoff, 2011. "On the Faustian Dynamics of Policy and Political Power," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(1), pages 17-48.
    6. William Jack & Roger Lagunoff, 2006. "Social Conflict and Gradual Political Succession: An Illustrative Model," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(4), pages 703-725, December.
    7. William Jack & Roger Lagunoff, 2005. "Social Conflict and Gradual Political Succession: An Illustrative Model," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000534, UCLA Department of Economics.
    8. Roger Lagunoff, 2006. "Dynamic Stability and Reform of Political Institutions," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000051, UCLA Department of Economics.
    9. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2012. "Dynamics and Stability of Constitutions, Coalitions, and Clubs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1446-1476, June.
    10. Aidt, Toke S. & Jensen, Peter S., 2014. "Workers of the world, unite! Franchise extensions and the threat of revolution in Europe, 1820–1938," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 52-75.
    11. Ghosal, Sayantan & Proto, Eugenio, 2009. "Democracy, collective action and intra-elite conflict," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(9-10), pages 1078-1089, October.
    12. Jonathan Chapman, 2020. "Extension of the Franchise and Government Expenditure on Public Goods: Evidence from Nineteenth-Century England," Working Papers 20200045, New York University Abu Dhabi, Department of Social Science, revised Mar 2020.
    13. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 2002. "Political economics and public finance," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 24, pages 1549-1659, Elsevier.
    14. Gradstein, Mark, 2005. "Democracy, Property Rights, Redistribution and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 5130, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. TokeS. Aidt & Martin Daunton & Jayasri Dutta, 2010. "The Retrenchment Hypothesis and the Extension of the Franchise in England and Wales," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(547), pages 990-1020, September.
    16. Humberto Llavador & Robert J. Oxoby, 2005. "Partisan Competition, Growth, and the Franchise," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1155-1189.
    17. Sayantan Ghosal & Eugenio Proto, 2006. "Why did (not) the East Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Intra-Elite Conflict and Risk Sharing," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_032, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    18. Mark Gradstein & Branko Milanovic, 2004. "Does Libertè = Egalité? A Survey of the Empirical Links between Democracy and Inequality with Some Evidence on the Transition Economies," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(4), pages 515-537, September.
    19. Rainald Borck, 2007. "Voting, Inequality And Redistribution," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 90-109, February.
    20. Robert K. Fleck & F. Andrew Hanssen, 2018. "Path dependence and transitions from tyranny to democracy: evidence from ancient Greece," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 371-388, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dynamic games; voter enfranchisement; franchise extension equilibria; dictator delegation game;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0306002. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: EconWPA (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.