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Stockholm School of Economics SSE Working Paper Series in Economics, Stockholm School of Economics

No 2016:1:
Democracy and International Conflict

Alberto Vesperoni () and Karl Wärneryd ()

Abstract: During the past two centuries, western nations have successively extended the voting franchise to citizens of lower income. We explain this process of democratization as a rational way for incumbent elites to wage war effectively on other nations, as in a strategic game of international conflict handing over military spending decisions to citizens who face a lower tax cost of arming may confer a strategic delegation advantage. We find supporting empirical evidence in case studies of franchise extensions in the United Kingdom, France, and the United States.

Keywords: War; conflict; contest; democracy; franchise extension; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: D72; D74; F51; O15; (follow links to similar papers)

38 pages, March 31, 2016

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