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Enfranchisement, Intra-Elite Conflict and Bargaining

  • Ghosal, Sayantan

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

  • Proto, Eugenio

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

Does power sharing between competing elites result in franchise extension to non-elites? In this paper, we argue that competing, risk-averse elites will enfranchise non-elites as in-surance against future, uncertain imbalances in relative bargaining power. We show that negligibly small changes in the bargaining power of non-elites, conditional on enfranchisment, via coalition formation, constrains the bargaining power of the stronger elite and result in discontinuous changes in equilibrium surplus division. Our results are robust to public good provision following enfranchisement when there is reference heterogeneity over the location of the public good across the different elites. We conclude with a comparative analysis of Indian democracy and show that our model is able to account for some of the distinctive features of Indian democracy.

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File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2006/twerp_750.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 750.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:750
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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. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2005. "Income and Democracy," NBER Working Papers 11205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2001. "Das Human Kapital," CEPR Discussion Papers 2701, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Nicola Persico & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2001. "The Provision of Public Goods under Alternative Electoral Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 225-239, March.
  7. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1999. "A Theory of Political Transitions," CEPR Discussion Papers 2277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Barro, Robert J., 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Scholarly Articles 3451297, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Bertocchi, Graziella, 2003. "The Law of Primogeniture and the Transition from Landed Aristocracy to Industrial Democracy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3723, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. 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.
  11. Humberto Llavador & Robert J. Oxoby, 2004. "Partisan Competition, Growth and the Franchise," Working Papers 109, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
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