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Democracy and International Conflict

Alberto Vesperoni () and Karl Wärneryd

No 5856, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo

Abstract: During the past two centuries, western nations have successively extended the voting franchise to citizens of lower income. We explain this process of democratization as a rational way for incumbent elites to wage war effectively on other nations, as in a strategic game of international conflict handing over military spending decisions to citizens who face a lower tax cost of arming may confer a strategic delegation advantage. We find supporting empirical evidence in case studies of franchise extensions in the United Kingdom, France, and the United States.

Keywords: war; conflict; contest; democracy; franchise extension (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 D74 F51 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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