Lecture 8 October 11

Lecture 8 October 11 - Todays agenda Democracy and economic...

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Today’s agenda Democracy and economic conditions, continued How do economic development and the structure of the economy affect the likelihood that a country will become and remain a democracy?
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What exactly is the modernization that promotes democratization? Is it wealth per se? Or something about the character of economic relationships that changes as wealth accumulates? According to modernization theory, all societies move through a series of stages. A key feature of this passage: Shift from agriculture to manufacturing and services
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Sectoral reshaping of the economy As elsewhere, these structural changes occurred in early modern Europe. Peasants moved from rural to urban areas Gentry increasingly involved in commercial activities in towns Bates and Lien (1985) have argued that these changes played a crucial role in the creation of representative government in England. Why?
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Sectoral reshaping of the economy Shift in economic power away from traditional agricultural elites who controlled easily observable assets toward a rising class of wool producers, merchants, and bankers who controlled assets that were more difficult to observe . Want to tax some activity or kind of asset? Need to be able to observe or measure it. Same point goes for predation. Hard to expropriate what you cannot find.
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Observable assets Bates and Lien: Increased ability of gentry to hide assets from state predation changed the balance of power between modernizing social groups traditional seats of power such as the Crown The Crown, needing money, now had to negotiate with the new economic elites to extract revenues. In return for paying their taxes, the economic elites demanded limits to state predation. Led to supremacy of Parliament over the Crown
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North and Weingast (1989) made a similar argument. Now that economic actors could hide their assets, Crown had to find some way to credibly commit not to engage in predation against economic elites. Ensuring credible commitment is a common problem.
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This note was uploaded on 02/20/2012 for the course 790 104 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.

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Lecture 8 October 11 - Todays agenda Democracy and economic...

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