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Faculty of Economics

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Aidt, T. S. and Jensen, P. S.

Workers of the world, unite! Franchise extensions and the threat of revolution in Europe, 1820-1938

European Economic Review

Vol. 72 pp. 52-75 (2014)

Abstract: We test the hypothesis that the extension of the voting franchise in Europe was related to the threat of revolution. We contend that international diffusion of regime contention and information about revolutionary events happening in neighboring countries generate the necessary variation in the perceived threat of revolution. Using two samples of European countries covering the period from 1820 to 1938, we find robust evidence which is consistent with the ‘threat of revolution hypothesis’. We also find some evidence that war triggered suffrage reform.

Keywords: Suffrage, Economics of democratization, Threat of revolution

JEL Codes: D70, P16

Author links: Toke Aidt  

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Cambridge Working Paper in Economics Version of Paper: Workers of the World, Unite! Franchise Extensions and the Threat of Revolution in Europe, 1820-1938, Aidt, T. S. and Jensen, P. S., (2011)

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