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

See all articles by Yoram Barzel

Yoram Barzel

University of Washington

Edgar Kiser

University of Washington - Sociology

Abstract

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

Barzel, Yoram and Kiser, Edgar, The Development and Decline of Medieval Voting Institutions: A Comparison of England and France. Economic Inquiry, Vol. XXXV, No. 2 (April 1997), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=60083

Yoram Barzel (Contact Author)

University of Washington ( email )

Box 353330
Seattle, WA 98195-3330
United States
206-543-2510 (Phone)
206-685-7477 (Fax)

Edgar Kiser

University of Washington - Sociology ( email )

Seattle, WA 98195
United States
206-543-7290 (Phone)
206-543-2516 (Fax)

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