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The Transition to Democracy : Collective Action and Intra-elite Confict

  • Ghosal, Sayantan

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

  • Proto, Eugenio

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

This paper studies how intra-elite confict results in transition to democracy, characterized as both franchise extension to, and lowering the individual cost of collective political action for, an initially disorganized non-elite. Two risk averse elites compete for the appropriation of a unit of social surplus with initial uncertainty about their future relative bargaining power. Both elements of a democracy are necessary to ensure that the two elites credibly commit to a mutually fairer share of the surplus and we derive sufficient conditions for democracy to emerge in equilibrium. Our formal analysis accounts for stylized facts that emerge from an analysis of Indian and West European democracies.

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File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2008/twerp_807.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 807.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:807
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  1. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2001. "A Theory of Political Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 938-963, September.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2006. "Persistence of Power, Elites and Institutions," NBER Working Papers 12108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2006. "Democratic Capital: The Nexus of Political and Economic Change," NBER Working Papers 12175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Ponzetto, Giacomo A. M. & Shleifer, Andrei, 2007. "Why does democracy need education?," Scholarly Articles 27867132, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  7. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2005. "Income and Democracy," NBER Working Papers 11205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Gary Charness & Matthew O. Jackson, 2004. "Group Play in Games and the Role of Consent in Network Formation," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000213, UCLA Department of Economics.
  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. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Das Human Kapital," Working Papers 2000-17, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  12. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, March.
  13. 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.
  14. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Barro, Robert J., 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Scholarly Articles 3451297, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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