Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

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

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 8, Issue 2


The Origin of Democracy in Athens

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


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.

Export Citation

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

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Robert K. Fleck
SSRN Electronic Journal , 2017
Federica Carugati
Comparative Political Studies, 2019, Page 001041401984355
Federica Carugati, Josiah Ober, and Barry R. Weingast
Public Choice, 2019, Volume 181, Number 1-2, Page 29
Bryan C. McCannon
Constitutional Political Economy, 2018
Robert K. Fleck and F. Andrew Hanssen
The Journal of Law and Economics, 2013, Volume 56, Number 2, Page 389
George Tridimas
Constitutional Political Economy, 2017, Volume 28, Number 3, Page 209

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in