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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. Charness, Gary B & Jackson, Matthew O., 2006. "Group Play in Games and the Role of Consent in Network Formation," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt3wd3q7qz, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
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  17. 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.
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