Information Aggregation, Growth and Franchise Extension with Applications to Female Enfranchisement and Inequality

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  • University of Oregon


We develop a model of voluntary gradual franchise extension and growth based on the idea that voting is an information aggregation mechanism. A larger number of voters means that more correct decisions are made, hence increasing output, but also implies that any incremental output must be shared among more individuals. These conflicting incentives lead to a dynamic model of franchise extensions that is consistent with several real world episodes, including female enfranchisement. The model also predicts that in certain circumstances growth and enfranchisement will be accompanied by Kuznets curve type behaviour in inequality. Contrary to the preceding literature these conclusions do not rest of incentives for strategic delegation.


Original languageEnglish
JournalBulletin of Economic Research
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Apr 2015


  • growth, franchise extension, democracy