Democracy, collective action and intra-elite conflict
Ghosal, Sayantan and Proto, Eugenio (2008) Democracy, collective action and intra-elite conflict. Working Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick, Department of Economics. (Warwick economic research papers).
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This paper studies the conditions under which intra-elite conflict leads to a democracy. There are two risk averse elites competing for the appropriation of a unit of social surplus, with an ex-ante uncertainty about their future relative bargaining power, and a large non-elite class unable to act collectively. We characterize a democracy as consistng of both franchise extension to, and lowering the cost of collective political activity for, individuals in the non-elite. In the absence of democracy, the stronger elite is always able to appropriate the entire surplus. We show that in a democracy, the newly enfranchised non-elite organize and always prefer to form a coalition with weaker elite against the stronger resulting in a more balanced surplus allocation between the two elites. Accordingly, the elites choose to democratize if they are suffciently risk averse. Our formal analysis can account for stylized facts that emerge from a comparative analysis of Indian and Western European democracies.
|Item Type:||Working or Discussion Paper (Working Paper)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Conflict management, Democracy, Economic development, Coalitions, Risk management|
|Series Name:||Warwick economic research papers|
|Publisher:||University of Warwick, Department of Economics|
|Place of Publication:||Coventry|
|Number of Pages:||39|
|Status:||Not Peer Reviewed|
|Access rights to Published version:||Open Access|
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