Endogenous Enfranchisement When Groups' Preferences Conflict
Posted: 6 Mar 2001
In their seminal paper, Aumann, Kurz and Neyman (1987) found the surprising result that the choice of public goods levels 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, which may exist between voters. This allows us to show that while individuals may not value the vote, they none-the-less 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.
JEL Classification: D72, D74
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation