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Information Aggregation, Growth and Franchise Extension with Applications to Female Enfranchisement and Inequality

Christopher J Ellis and John Fender

Discussion Papers from Department of Economics, University of Birmingham

Abstract: We develop a model of voluntary gradual franchise extension and growth based on the idea that voting is an information aggregation mechanism. A larger number of voters mean more correct decisions are made hence more output, but also imply that any incremental output needs to be shared among more individuals. These conflicting incentives are shown to lead to a dynamic model of franchise extensions that is not inconsistent with several real world episodes, including female enfranchisement. The model also predicts that in certain circumstances growth and enfranchisement will be accompanied by Kuznets curve type behaviour in inequality. Contrary to the preceding literature these conclusions do not rest on incentives for strategic delegation.

Keywords: Democracy; Franchise Extension; Growth (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H0 P16 P4 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 32 pages
Date: 2010-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:bir:birmec:10-27

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