The Development and Decline of Medieval Voting Institutions: A Comparison of England and France
Economic Inquiry, Vol. XXXV, No. 2 (April 1997)
Posted: 18 Feb 1998
This paper argues that in the middle ages voting institutions emerged as mechanisms that allowed rulers to cooperate with subjects on mutually profitable projects. In spite of their utility, many of these voting institutions eventually declined. We test the model on the English parliament and the French estates general. The historical evidence strongly supports our view that these institutions declined in France, but not in England, due to increases in the heterogeneity of voters' interests and the insecurity of French rulers, since these factors made cooperation between French rulers and their subjects more difficult.
JEL Classification: N40, N43
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation