Endogenous Enfranchisement When Groups' Preferences Conflict

Posted: 14 Feb 2001

See all articles by John P. Conley

John P. Conley

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics

Akram Temimi

University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

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Abstract

In their seminal paper, Aumann, Kurz, and Neyman found the surprising result that the choice of levels of public goods in a democracy is not affected by the distribution of voting rights. This implies that groups of individuals should not value the franchise. This conclusion, however, does not correspond to what we commonly observe. We propose a new model to address the question of enfranchisement. The main feature of our model is that it takes into account natural affinities, such as religion or class, that may exist between voters. This allows us to show that while individuals may not value the vote, they nonetheless value the franchise. We also show that in the presence of nonconvexities, it is more likely that the group in power will grant the franchise when preferences are severely opposed.

Suggested Citation

Conley, John P. and Temimi, Akram, Endogenous Enfranchisement When Groups' Preferences Conflict. Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 109, No. 1, Feb. 2001, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=256546

John P. Conley (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States

Akram Temimi

University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa ( email )

Department of Economics, Finance and Legal Studies
P.O. Box 870244
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States
205-348-8961 (Phone)

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