Why Did the Elites Extend the Suffrage? Democracy and the Scope of Government, With an Application to Britain’s ‘Age of Reform.’

@inproceedings{Lizzeri2003WhyDT,
  title={Why Did the Elites Extend the Suffrage? Democracy and the Scope of Government, With an Application to Britain’s ‘Age of Reform.’},
  author={Alessandro Lizzeri and Nicola Persico},
  year={2003}
}
A new rationale is presented for why an elite may wish to expand the franchise even in the absence of serious threats to the established order. In our model, expanding the franchise can turn politicians away from particularistic politics based on ad-personam redistribution within the elite, and foster competition based on provision of public programs with diffuse benefits. We show that if the value of public goods is particularly high, a majority of the elite votes in favor of an extension of… CONTINUE READING

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