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Review of Law & Economics

Editor-in-Chief: Parisi, Francesco / Engel, Christoph

Ed. by Cooter, Robert D. / Gómez Pomar, Fernando / Kornhauser, Lewis A. / Parchomovsky, Gideon / Franzoni, Luigi Alberto


CiteScore 2018: 0.32

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.274
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.493

Online
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1555-5879
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Volume 8, Issue 2

Issues

The Origin of Democracy in Athens

Bryan C. McCannon
Published Online: 2012-10-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/1555-5879.1597

Abstract

A new explanation of the origin of democracy is presented, motivated by historical observations from ancient Athens. It is argued that volatility in wealth across generations encouraged the elites to extend the franchise to nonelites. While being among the elite allows for the extraction of wealth from the nonelite, if there is a significant probability that one’s offspring will fall from the ranks of the elite, then the enfranchised may have the incentive to provide democracy. This proves an insurance for one’s offspring. Furthermore, providing this protection allows, in certain environments, an elite to consume more in his life.

About the article

Published Online: 2012-10-31


Citation Information: Review of Law & Economics, Volume 8, Issue 2, Pages 531–562, ISSN (Online) 1555-5879, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/1555-5879.1597.

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©2012 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

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