Suffrage, Labour Markets and Coalitions in Colonial Virginia

  title={Suffrage, Labour Markets and Coalitions in Colonial Virginia},
  author={Elena Nikolova and Milena Nikolova},
  journal={European Economics: Labor \& Social Conditions eJournal},
We study Virginia's suffrage from the early-17th century until the American Revolution using an analytical narrative and econometric analysis of unique data on franchise restrictions. First, we hold that suffrage changes reflected labour market dynamics. Indeed, Virginia's liberal institutions initially served to attract indentured servants from England who were needed in the labour-intensive tobacco farming but deteriorated once worker demand subsided and planters replaced white workers with… Expand
Democratic reversals and the size of government
Abstract While the fiscal and redistributive consequences of democracy is one of the central debates in political economy, most empirical studies analyze this question solely in the context ofExpand
Communism as the Unhappy Coming
This paper shows that Eastern Orthodox believers are less happy compared with Catholics and Protestants using data covering more than 100 countries around the world. Consistent with the happinessExpand
A short history of constitutional liberalism in America
American liberalism emerged before the most famous European liberal intellectuals put their pens to paper. It was grounded partly on liberal ideas that were in the air before those works wereExpand


Destined for Democracy? Labour Markets and Political Change in Colonial British America
  • E. Nikolova
  • Economics
  • British Journal of Political Science
  • 2015
In this article a new explanation for the emergence of democratic institutions is proposed: elites may extend the right to vote to the masses in order to attract migrant workers. It is argued thatExpand
Gentlemen and Freeholders: Electoral Politics in Colonial Virginia
This text explores the role of elections in the public culture of Britain's most populous North American colony during the middle decades of the 18th century. In this pre-Revolutionary world, theExpand
Democracy in America: Labor Mobility, Early Liberalism, and Constitutional Reform
Relatively liberal economic and political institutions emerged earlier in America than appreciated by most social scientists. They did not emerge in one great leap forward, but through a gradualExpand
War and the Political Zeitgeist: Evidence from the History of Female Suffrage
Despite the upheaval associated with warfare, empirical evidence linking conflict with institutional development is limited. This paper examines the hypothesis that international wars acceleratedExpand
The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation
We exploit differences in the mortality rates faced by European colonialists to estimate the effect of institutions on economic performance. Our argument is that Europeans adopted very differentExpand
Partisan Competition, Growth, and the Franchise
We present an argument for changes in the franchise in which an elite split along economic interests uses the suffrage to influence implemented policies. Through the influence of these policies onExpand
The Colonial Origins of the Divergence in the Americas: A Labor Market Approach
Part of a long-run project to put together a systematic database of prices and wages for the American continents, this paper takes a first look at standards of living in a series of North AmericanExpand
A "Topping People": The Rise and Decline of Virginia's Old Political Elite, 1680-1790
"A Topping People" is the first comprehensive study of the political, economic, and social elite of colonial Virginia. Evans studies twenty-one leading families from their rise to power in the lateExpand
Migration in Colonial America: Evidence from the Militia Muster Rolls
The diversity of opinions about the extent and importance of migration during the colonial era testifies to the paucity of direct information on the subject. Beyond the desire for a purelyExpand
Why did the Elites Extend the Suffrage? Democracy and the Scope of Government, with an Application to Britain's “Age of Reform”
A new rationale is presented for why an elite may want to expand the franchise even in the absence of threats to the established order. Expanding the franchise can turn politicians away fromExpand