Democratization, Personal Wealth of Politicians and Voting Behavior
Lunch seminar of Markets and Corporations
From about 1850 to 1920, a wave of democratization and liberalization swept over Western Europe, bringing about universal suffrage and an expansion of government. Using newly-collected probate inventories that provide a measure of politicians' personal wealth, Bas Machielse discusses the role of personal wealth in this process illustrated by the case of the Netherlands. He shows that parliaments became significantly less wealthy over time. He then discusses voting behavior of politicians on several laws extending the franchise and increasing taxes and finds that richer politicians were more likely to vote against fiscal legislation. His findings indicate that the personal wealth of politicians negatively influenced the probability of increasing taxes, and played an important role in determining government size. The analyses support a causal interpretation of these results. In contrast, no convincing relationships between politicians' personal wealth and their voting behavior on suffrage extensions has been found.
This lunch seminar is organized by Markets and Corporations, which is part of the strategic theme Institutions for Open Societies
- Start date and time
- End date and time
- Grote Stijlkamer - Janskerkhof 2-3 0.01
- Entrance fee
Lunch will be provided, please confirm your attendance by sending an email to Willem Rebel, firstname.lastname@example.org.