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The transition to democracy: collective action and intra-elite confict

By Sayantan Ghosal and Eugenio Proto

Abstract

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

Topics: HB, JC
Publisher: University of Warwick, Department of Economics
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:1406

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