War, disenfranchisement and the fall of the ancient Athenian democracy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The ancient Athenian democracy emerged in 508 (all dates BCE), became a dominant naval power, fought a multitude of external wars and ended in 322 after it was defeated by Macedon and was replaced by oligarchy. The paper employs a political economy framework to examine the demise of democracy. It illustrates that war was a means of redistribution, benefiting the majority of poorer Athenians at the expense of the rich elite, who bore a disproportionate burden of its cost. A model of conflict is set up to study the incentives of the poor majority to go to war. Analyzing a dynamic setting it also investigates the circumstances when after defeating Athens her enemy chooses to impose oligarchy that disenfranchises the poor. As victory at war is probabilistic it is concluded that the fall of the democracy was neither avoidable nor inevitable.
    LanguageEnglish
    JournalEuropean Journal of Political Economy
    Volume31
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Fingerprint

    Athenian Democracy
    Democracy
    Oligarchy
    Enemy
    Costs
    Victory
    Redistribution
    Incentives
    Political Economy
    Burden
    Demise
    Athens
    Elites
    Naval

    Keywords

    • Democracy
    • Ancient Athens
    • redistribution
    • conflict
    • disenfranchisement

    Cite this

    @article{5ef827d0fd9341e080ad884734fc9997,
    title = "War, disenfranchisement and the fall of the ancient Athenian democracy",
    abstract = "The ancient Athenian democracy emerged in 508 (all dates BCE), became a dominant naval power, fought a multitude of external wars and ended in 322 after it was defeated by Macedon and was replaced by oligarchy. The paper employs a political economy framework to examine the demise of democracy. It illustrates that war was a means of redistribution, benefiting the majority of poorer Athenians at the expense of the rich elite, who bore a disproportionate burden of its cost. A model of conflict is set up to study the incentives of the poor majority to go to war. Analyzing a dynamic setting it also investigates the circumstances when after defeating Athens her enemy chooses to impose oligarchy that disenfranchises the poor. As victory at war is probabilistic it is concluded that the fall of the democracy was neither avoidable nor inevitable.",
    keywords = "Democracy, Ancient Athens, redistribution, conflict, disenfranchisement",
    author = "George Tridimas",
    note = "Reference text: Acemoglu and Robinson, 2000 D. Acemoglu, J.A. Robinson Why did the West extend the franchise? Democracy, inequality, and growth in historical perspective Q. J. Econ., 115 (2000), pp. 1167–1199 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (321) Acemoglu and Robinson, 2006 D. Acemoglu, J.A. Robinson Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy Cambridge University Press, New York (2006) Aidt and Franck, 2013 T.S. Aidt, R. Franck How to get the snowball rolling and extend the franchise: voting on the Great Reform Act of 1832 Public Choice, 155 (2013), pp. 229–250 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (2) Apolte, 2012 T. Apolte Why is there no revolution in North Korea? The political economy of revolution revisited Public Choice, 150 (2012), pp. 561–578 View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (1) Aristotle, 1984 Aristotle The Athenian Constitution translated by P.J. Rhodes Penguin Classics, London (1984) Ashton, 1977 N.G. Ashton The Naumachia near Amorgos in 322 B.C Annu. Br. Sch. Athens, 72 (1977), pp. 1–11 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (3) Barro, 1999 R.J. Barro Determinants of democracy J. Polit. Econ., 107 (1999), pp. S158–S183 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (141) Bates, 1991 R.H. Bates The Economics of Transitions to Democracy PS: Polit. Sci. Polit., 24 (1991), pp. 24–27 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (12) Bitros and Karayiannis, 2010 G.C. Bitros, A.D. Karayiannis Morality, institutions and the wealth of nations: some lessons from ancient Greece Eur. J. Polit. Econ., 26 (2010), pp. 68–81 Article | PDF (235 K) | View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (13) Boix and Stokes, 2003 C. Boix, S.C. Stokes Endogenous democratization World Polit., 55 (2003), pp. 517–549 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (216) Bueno de Mesquita and Smith, 2009 B. Bueno de Mesquita, A. Smith Political survival and Endogenous institutional change Comp. Polit. Stud., 42 (2009), pp. 167–197 Bueno de Mesquita et al., 2003 B. Bueno de Mesquita, R.M. Siverson, A. Smith, D.J. Morrow The Logic of Political Survival MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass (2003) Cartledge, 2009 P. Cartledge Ancient Greek Political Thought in Practice Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2009) Congleton, 2004 R. Congleton Economic development and democracy. Does industrialisation lead to universal suffrage? Homo Oeconomicus, 21 (2004), pp. 283–311 Congleton, 2007 R. Congleton From royal to parliamentary rule without revolution: The economics of constitutional exchange within divided governments Eur. J. Polit. Econ., 23 (2007), pp. 261–284 Article | PDF (408 K) | View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (12) Congleton, 2011 R.D. Congleton Perfecting Parliament: Constitutional Reform and the Origins of Western Democracy Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2011) D’Amico, 2010 D.J. D’Amico The prison in economics: private and public incarceration in Ancient Greece Public Choice, 145 (2010), pp. 461–482 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (5) Davies, 2008 J.K. Davies Cultural, social and economic features of the Hellenistic World. Classical Greece: Production F.W. Walbank, A.E. Astin, M.W. Frederiksen, R.M. Ogilve (Eds.), Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. VII, Part I, The Hellenistic World (2nd edition), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2008), pp. 257–320 de Ste. Croix,, 1954 G.E.M. de Ste. Croix, The character of the Athenian empire Historia, 3 (1954), pp. 1–41 View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (28) Fleck and Hanssen, 2006 R.K. Fleck, F.A. Hanssen The origins of democracy: A model with applications to Ancient Greece J. Law Econ., 49 (2006), pp. 115–146 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (24) Fleck and Hanssen, 2009 R.K. Fleck, F.A. Hanssen Rulers ruled by women”: an economic analysis of the rise and fall of women’s rights in ancient Sparta Constit. Polit. Econ., 10 (2009), pp. 221–245 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (7) Fleck and Hanssen, 2012 R.K. Fleck, F.A. Hanssen On the Benefits and Costs of Legal Expertise: Adjudication in Ancient Athens Rev. Law Econ., 8 (2012), pp. 367–399 Fleck and Hanssen, 2013 R.K. Fleck, F.A. Hanssen How tyranny paved the way to democracy: The democratic transition in ancient Greece J. Law Econ., 56 (2013), pp. 389–416 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef Garfinkel, 1994 M.R. Garfinkel Domestic politics and international conflict Am. Econ. Rev., 84 (1994), pp. 1294–1309 View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (40) Garfinkel and Skaperdas, 2007 M.R. Garfinkel, S. Skaperdas Economics of conflict: An overview T. Sandler, K. Hartley (Eds.), Handbook of Defense Economics (2007), pp. 649–709 (North-Holland, New York) Article | PDF (496 K) | View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (48) Guha, 2012 B. Guha Preferences, prisoners and private information: was Socrates rational at his trial? Eur. J. Law Econ., 33 (2012), pp. 621–643 Hansen, 1999 M.H. Hansen The Athenian Democracy in the Age of Demosthenes Structure, Principles and IdeologyBristol Classical Press, London (1999) Harris, 2002 E.M. Harris Workshop, marketplace and household: the nature of specialization in classical Athens and its influence on economy and society ,in: P. Cartledge, E.E. Cohen, L. Foxhall (Eds.), Money, Labour and Land, Approaches to the Economies of Ancient Greece, Routledge, Abingdon (2002), pp. 67–99 View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (25) Hess and Orphanides, 2001 G.D. Hess, A. Orphanides War and democracy J. Polit. Econ., 109 (2001), pp. 776–810 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (42) Hicks, 2013 D.L. Hicks War and the political zeitgeist: Evidence from the history of female suffrage Eur. J. Polit. Econ., 31 (2013), pp. 60–81 Article | PDF (334 K) | View Record in Scopus Jackson and Morelli, 2007 M.O. Jackson, M. Morelli Political bias and war Am. Econ. Rev., 97 (2007), pp. 1353–1373 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (32) Jones, 1958 A.H.M. Jones Athenian Democracy Frederick Praeger, New York (1958) Jung and Sunde, 2014 F. Jung, U. Sunde Income, inequality, and the stability of democracy — Another look at the Lipset hypothesis Eur. J. Polit. Econ., 35 (2014), pp. 52–74 Article | PDF (697 K) | View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (1) Kaiser, 2007 B.A. Kaiser The Athenian Trierarchy: Mechanism design for the private provision of public goods J. Econ. Hist., 67 (2007), pp. 445–480 View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (14) Karayiannis and Hatzis, 2012 A.D. Karayiannis, A.N. Hatzis Morality, social norms and the rule of law as transaction cost-saving devices: the case of ancient Athens Eur. J. Law Econ., 33 (2012), pp. 621–643 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (1) Kron, 2011 G. Kron The distribution of wealth at Athens in comparative perspective Z. Papyrol. Epigr., 179 (2011), pp. 129–138 Lake, 1992 D.A. Lake Powerful pacifists: democratic states and war Am. Polit. Sci. Rev., 86 (1992), pp. 24–37 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (281) Lipset, 1959 S.M. Lipset Social requisites of democracy: economic development and political legitimacy Am. Polit. Sci. Rev., 53 (1959), pp. 69–105 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (32) Lipset and Rokkan, 1967 S.M. Lipset, S. Rokkan Cleavege structures, party systems and voter alignments. An introduction S.M. Lipset, S. Rokkan (Eds.), Party Systems and Voter Alignments, Free Press, New York (1967), pp. 1–50 Lizzeri and Persico, 2004 A. Lizzeri, N. Persico Why did the elites extend the suffrage? Democracy and the scope of government, with an application to Britain’s ‘Age of Reform’ Q. J. Econ., 119 (2004), pp. 707–765 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (82) Lyttkens, 1994 C.H. Lyttkens A predatory democracy? An essay on taxation in classical Athens Explor. Econ. Hist., 31 (1994), pp. 62–90 Article | PDF (1611 K) | View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (11) Lyttkens, 2013 C.H. Lyttkens Economic Analysis of Institutional Change in Ancient Greece Politics, Taxation and Rational BehaviourRoutledge, Abingdon (2013) Matsusaka, 2005 John G. Matsusaka Direct Democracy Works J. Econ. Perspect., 19 (2005), pp. 185–206 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (75) McCannon, 2010 B.C. McCannon The median juror and the trial of Socrates Eur. J. Polit. Econ., 26 (2010), pp. 533–540 Article | PDF (212 K) | View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (3) Microyiannakis, 1973 E. Microyiannakis Alexander the Great – Hellenistic Times The History of the Greek Nation, vol. IVAthens Publishing, Athens (1973) (in Greek) Moore, 1995 W.H. Moore Rational rebels: Overcoming the free-rider problem Polit. Res. Q., 48 (1995), pp. 417–454 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (41) Mueller, 1996 Dennis C. Mueller Constitutional Democracy Oxford University Press, Oxford (1996) Ober, 2008 J. Ober Democracy and Knowledge Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford (2008) Ober, 2010 J. Ober Wealthy Hellas Trans. Am. Philol. Assoc., 140 (2010), pp. 241–286 View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (11) Olson, 1965 M. Olson The Logic of Collective Action, Public Goods and the Theory of Groups Harvard University Press, Cambridge (1965) Olsson–Yaouzis, 2012 N. Olsson–Yaouzis An evolutionary dynamic of revolutions Public Choice, 151 (2012), pp. 497–515 View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (1) Papaioannou and Siourounis, 2008 E. Papaioannou, G. Siourounis Economic and social factors driving the third wave of democratization J. Comp. Econ., 36 (2008), pp. 365–387 Article | PDF (266 K) | View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (31) Pitsoulis, 2011 A. Pitsoulis The egalitarian battlefield: Reflections on the origins of majority rule in archaic Greece Eur. J. Polit. Econ., 27 (2011), pp. 87–103 Article | PDF (404 K) | View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (4) Pritchard, 2007 D. Pritchard How do democracy and war affect each other? The case study of ancient Athens Polis, 24 (2007), pp. 328–352 View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (3) Przeworski, 2005 A. Przeworski Democracy as an equilibrium Public Choice, 123 (2005), pp. 253–273 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (43) Reiter and Stam, 2003 D. Reiter, A.C. Stam Understanding victory Int. Secur., 28 (2003), pp. 168–179 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (17) Rhodes, 2013 P.J. Rhodes The organization of Athenian public finance Greece Rome, 60 (2013), pp. 203–231 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (1) Robinson, 2006 J.R. Robinson Economic development and democracy Ann. Rev. Polit. Sci., 9 (2006), pp. 503–527 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (32) Rosendorff, 2001 B.P. Rosendorff Choosintg democracy Econ. Polit., 13 (2001), pp. 1–29 Tangeras, 2006 T.P. Tangeras Democracy, autocracy and the likelihood of international conflict Econ. Gov., 10 (2006), pp. 99–117 Therborn, 1977 G. Therborn The rule of capital and the rise of democracy New Left Rev., 103 (1977), pp. 3–41 View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (101) Ticchi and Vindigni, 2008 D. Ticchi, A. Vindigni War and endogenous democracy IZA Discussion Paper No. 3397 (2008) (Available at: http://works.bepress.com/davideticchi/7) Tridimas, 2010 G. Tridimas Referendum and the choice between monarchy and republic in Greece Constit. Polit. Econ., 21 (2010), pp. 119–144 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (3) Tridimas, 2011 G. Tridimas A political economy perspective of direct democracy in ancient Athens Constit. Polit. Econ., 22 (2011), pp. 58–72 Tridimas, 2012a G. Tridimas Constitutional choice in ancient Athens: the rationality of selection to office by lot Constit. Polit. Econ., 23 (2012), pp. 1–21 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (2) Tridimas, 2012b G. Tridimas How democracy was achieved Eur. J. Polit. Econ., 28 (2012), pp. 651–658 Article | PDF (185 K) | View Record in Scopus Tridimas, 2013 G. Tridimas Homo oeconomicus in ancient Athens. Silver bonanza and the choice to build a navy Homo Oeconomicus, 30 (2013), pp. 14–162 Tridimas, forthcoming G. Tridimas Rent seeking in the democracy of ancient Greece A.L. Hillman, R.D. Congleton (Eds.), The Elgar Companion to the Political Economy of Rent Seeking (2015) (forthcoming) Will, 2008 E. Will The succession to Alexander F.W. Walbank, A.E. Astin, M.W. Frederiksen, R.M. Ogilve (Eds.), Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. VII, Part I, The Hellenistic World (2nd edition), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2008), pp. 23–61",
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    N1 - Reference text: Acemoglu and Robinson, 2000 D. Acemoglu, J.A. Robinson Why did the West extend the franchise? Democracy, inequality, and growth in historical perspective Q. J. Econ., 115 (2000), pp. 1167–1199 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (321) Acemoglu and Robinson, 2006 D. Acemoglu, J.A. Robinson Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy Cambridge University Press, New York (2006) Aidt and Franck, 2013 T.S. Aidt, R. Franck How to get the snowball rolling and extend the franchise: voting on the Great Reform Act of 1832 Public Choice, 155 (2013), pp. 229–250 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (2) Apolte, 2012 T. Apolte Why is there no revolution in North Korea? The political economy of revolution revisited Public Choice, 150 (2012), pp. 561–578 View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (1) Aristotle, 1984 Aristotle The Athenian Constitution translated by P.J. Rhodes Penguin Classics, London (1984) Ashton, 1977 N.G. Ashton The Naumachia near Amorgos in 322 B.C Annu. Br. Sch. Athens, 72 (1977), pp. 1–11 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (3) Barro, 1999 R.J. Barro Determinants of democracy J. Polit. Econ., 107 (1999), pp. S158–S183 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (141) Bates, 1991 R.H. Bates The Economics of Transitions to Democracy PS: Polit. Sci. Polit., 24 (1991), pp. 24–27 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (12) Bitros and Karayiannis, 2010 G.C. Bitros, A.D. Karayiannis Morality, institutions and the wealth of nations: some lessons from ancient Greece Eur. J. Polit. Econ., 26 (2010), pp. 68–81 Article | PDF (235 K) | View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (13) Boix and Stokes, 2003 C. Boix, S.C. Stokes Endogenous democratization World Polit., 55 (2003), pp. 517–549 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (216) Bueno de Mesquita and Smith, 2009 B. Bueno de Mesquita, A. Smith Political survival and Endogenous institutional change Comp. Polit. Stud., 42 (2009), pp. 167–197 Bueno de Mesquita et al., 2003 B. Bueno de Mesquita, R.M. Siverson, A. Smith, D.J. Morrow The Logic of Political Survival MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass (2003) Cartledge, 2009 P. Cartledge Ancient Greek Political Thought in Practice Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2009) Congleton, 2004 R. Congleton Economic development and democracy. Does industrialisation lead to universal suffrage? Homo Oeconomicus, 21 (2004), pp. 283–311 Congleton, 2007 R. Congleton From royal to parliamentary rule without revolution: The economics of constitutional exchange within divided governments Eur. J. Polit. Econ., 23 (2007), pp. 261–284 Article | PDF (408 K) | View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (12) Congleton, 2011 R.D. Congleton Perfecting Parliament: Constitutional Reform and the Origins of Western Democracy Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2011) D’Amico, 2010 D.J. D’Amico The prison in economics: private and public incarceration in Ancient Greece Public Choice, 145 (2010), pp. 461–482 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (5) Davies, 2008 J.K. Davies Cultural, social and economic features of the Hellenistic World. Classical Greece: Production F.W. Walbank, A.E. Astin, M.W. Frederiksen, R.M. Ogilve (Eds.), Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. VII, Part I, The Hellenistic World (2nd edition), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2008), pp. 257–320 de Ste. Croix,, 1954 G.E.M. de Ste. Croix, The character of the Athenian empire Historia, 3 (1954), pp. 1–41 View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (28) Fleck and Hanssen, 2006 R.K. Fleck, F.A. Hanssen The origins of democracy: A model with applications to Ancient Greece J. Law Econ., 49 (2006), pp. 115–146 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (24) Fleck and Hanssen, 2009 R.K. Fleck, F.A. Hanssen Rulers ruled by women”: an economic analysis of the rise and fall of women’s rights in ancient Sparta Constit. Polit. Econ., 10 (2009), pp. 221–245 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (7) Fleck and Hanssen, 2012 R.K. Fleck, F.A. Hanssen On the Benefits and Costs of Legal Expertise: Adjudication in Ancient Athens Rev. Law Econ., 8 (2012), pp. 367–399 Fleck and Hanssen, 2013 R.K. Fleck, F.A. Hanssen How tyranny paved the way to democracy: The democratic transition in ancient Greece J. Law Econ., 56 (2013), pp. 389–416 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef Garfinkel, 1994 M.R. Garfinkel Domestic politics and international conflict Am. Econ. Rev., 84 (1994), pp. 1294–1309 View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (40) Garfinkel and Skaperdas, 2007 M.R. Garfinkel, S. Skaperdas Economics of conflict: An overview T. Sandler, K. Hartley (Eds.), Handbook of Defense Economics (2007), pp. 649–709 (North-Holland, New York) Article | PDF (496 K) | View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (48) Guha, 2012 B. Guha Preferences, prisoners and private information: was Socrates rational at his trial? Eur. J. Law Econ., 33 (2012), pp. 621–643 Hansen, 1999 M.H. Hansen The Athenian Democracy in the Age of Demosthenes Structure, Principles and IdeologyBristol Classical Press, London (1999) Harris, 2002 E.M. Harris Workshop, marketplace and household: the nature of specialization in classical Athens and its influence on economy and society ,in: P. Cartledge, E.E. Cohen, L. Foxhall (Eds.), Money, Labour and Land, Approaches to the Economies of Ancient Greece, Routledge, Abingdon (2002), pp. 67–99 View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (25) Hess and Orphanides, 2001 G.D. Hess, A. Orphanides War and democracy J. Polit. Econ., 109 (2001), pp. 776–810 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (42) Hicks, 2013 D.L. Hicks War and the political zeitgeist: Evidence from the history of female suffrage Eur. J. Polit. Econ., 31 (2013), pp. 60–81 Article | PDF (334 K) | View Record in Scopus Jackson and Morelli, 2007 M.O. Jackson, M. Morelli Political bias and war Am. Econ. Rev., 97 (2007), pp. 1353–1373 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (32) Jones, 1958 A.H.M. Jones Athenian Democracy Frederick Praeger, New York (1958) Jung and Sunde, 2014 F. Jung, U. Sunde Income, inequality, and the stability of democracy — Another look at the Lipset hypothesis Eur. J. Polit. Econ., 35 (2014), pp. 52–74 Article | PDF (697 K) | View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (1) Kaiser, 2007 B.A. Kaiser The Athenian Trierarchy: Mechanism design for the private provision of public goods J. Econ. Hist., 67 (2007), pp. 445–480 View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (14) Karayiannis and Hatzis, 2012 A.D. Karayiannis, A.N. Hatzis Morality, social norms and the rule of law as transaction cost-saving devices: the case of ancient Athens Eur. J. Law Econ., 33 (2012), pp. 621–643 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (1) Kron, 2011 G. Kron The distribution of wealth at Athens in comparative perspective Z. Papyrol. Epigr., 179 (2011), pp. 129–138 Lake, 1992 D.A. Lake Powerful pacifists: democratic states and war Am. Polit. Sci. Rev., 86 (1992), pp. 24–37 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (281) Lipset, 1959 S.M. Lipset Social requisites of democracy: economic development and political legitimacy Am. Polit. Sci. Rev., 53 (1959), pp. 69–105 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (32) Lipset and Rokkan, 1967 S.M. Lipset, S. Rokkan Cleavege structures, party systems and voter alignments. An introduction S.M. Lipset, S. Rokkan (Eds.), Party Systems and Voter Alignments, Free Press, New York (1967), pp. 1–50 Lizzeri and Persico, 2004 A. Lizzeri, N. Persico Why did the elites extend the suffrage? Democracy and the scope of government, with an application to Britain’s ‘Age of Reform’ Q. J. Econ., 119 (2004), pp. 707–765 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (82) Lyttkens, 1994 C.H. Lyttkens A predatory democracy? An essay on taxation in classical Athens Explor. Econ. Hist., 31 (1994), pp. 62–90 Article | PDF (1611 K) | View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (11) Lyttkens, 2013 C.H. Lyttkens Economic Analysis of Institutional Change in Ancient Greece Politics, Taxation and Rational BehaviourRoutledge, Abingdon (2013) Matsusaka, 2005 John G. Matsusaka Direct Democracy Works J. Econ. Perspect., 19 (2005), pp. 185–206 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (75) McCannon, 2010 B.C. McCannon The median juror and the trial of Socrates Eur. J. Polit. Econ., 26 (2010), pp. 533–540 Article | PDF (212 K) | View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (3) Microyiannakis, 1973 E. Microyiannakis Alexander the Great – Hellenistic Times The History of the Greek Nation, vol. IVAthens Publishing, Athens (1973) (in Greek) Moore, 1995 W.H. Moore Rational rebels: Overcoming the free-rider problem Polit. Res. Q., 48 (1995), pp. 417–454 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (41) Mueller, 1996 Dennis C. Mueller Constitutional Democracy Oxford University Press, Oxford (1996) Ober, 2008 J. Ober Democracy and Knowledge Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford (2008) Ober, 2010 J. Ober Wealthy Hellas Trans. Am. Philol. Assoc., 140 (2010), pp. 241–286 View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (11) Olson, 1965 M. Olson The Logic of Collective Action, Public Goods and the Theory of Groups Harvard University Press, Cambridge (1965) Olsson–Yaouzis, 2012 N. Olsson–Yaouzis An evolutionary dynamic of revolutions Public Choice, 151 (2012), pp. 497–515 View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (1) Papaioannou and Siourounis, 2008 E. Papaioannou, G. Siourounis Economic and social factors driving the third wave of democratization J. Comp. Econ., 36 (2008), pp. 365–387 Article | PDF (266 K) | View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (31) Pitsoulis, 2011 A. Pitsoulis The egalitarian battlefield: Reflections on the origins of majority rule in archaic Greece Eur. J. Polit. Econ., 27 (2011), pp. 87–103 Article | PDF (404 K) | View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (4) Pritchard, 2007 D. Pritchard How do democracy and war affect each other? The case study of ancient Athens Polis, 24 (2007), pp. 328–352 View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (3) Przeworski, 2005 A. Przeworski Democracy as an equilibrium Public Choice, 123 (2005), pp. 253–273 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (43) Reiter and Stam, 2003 D. Reiter, A.C. Stam Understanding victory Int. Secur., 28 (2003), pp. 168–179 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (17) Rhodes, 2013 P.J. Rhodes The organization of Athenian public finance Greece Rome, 60 (2013), pp. 203–231 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (1) Robinson, 2006 J.R. Robinson Economic development and democracy Ann. Rev. Polit. Sci., 9 (2006), pp. 503–527 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (32) Rosendorff, 2001 B.P. Rosendorff Choosintg democracy Econ. Polit., 13 (2001), pp. 1–29 Tangeras, 2006 T.P. Tangeras Democracy, autocracy and the likelihood of international conflict Econ. Gov., 10 (2006), pp. 99–117 Therborn, 1977 G. Therborn The rule of capital and the rise of democracy New Left Rev., 103 (1977), pp. 3–41 View Record in Scopus | Citing articles (101) Ticchi and Vindigni, 2008 D. Ticchi, A. Vindigni War and endogenous democracy IZA Discussion Paper No. 3397 (2008) (Available at: http://works.bepress.com/davideticchi/7) Tridimas, 2010 G. Tridimas Referendum and the choice between monarchy and republic in Greece Constit. Polit. Econ., 21 (2010), pp. 119–144 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (3) Tridimas, 2011 G. Tridimas A political economy perspective of direct democracy in ancient Athens Constit. Polit. Econ., 22 (2011), pp. 58–72 Tridimas, 2012a G. Tridimas Constitutional choice in ancient Athens: the rationality of selection to office by lot Constit. Polit. Econ., 23 (2012), pp. 1–21 View Record in Scopus | Full Text via CrossRef | Citing articles (2) Tridimas, 2012b G. Tridimas How democracy was achieved Eur. J. Polit. Econ., 28 (2012), pp. 651–658 Article | PDF (185 K) | View Record in Scopus Tridimas, 2013 G. Tridimas Homo oeconomicus in ancient Athens. Silver bonanza and the choice to build a navy Homo Oeconomicus, 30 (2013), pp. 14–162 Tridimas, forthcoming G. Tridimas Rent seeking in the democracy of ancient Greece A.L. Hillman, R.D. Congleton (Eds.), The Elgar Companion to the Political Economy of Rent Seeking (2015) (forthcoming) Will, 2008 E. Will The succession to Alexander F.W. Walbank, A.E. Astin, M.W. Frederiksen, R.M. Ogilve (Eds.), Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. VII, Part I, The Hellenistic World (2nd edition), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2008), pp. 23–61

    PY - 2015

    Y1 - 2015

    N2 - The ancient Athenian democracy emerged in 508 (all dates BCE), became a dominant naval power, fought a multitude of external wars and ended in 322 after it was defeated by Macedon and was replaced by oligarchy. The paper employs a political economy framework to examine the demise of democracy. It illustrates that war was a means of redistribution, benefiting the majority of poorer Athenians at the expense of the rich elite, who bore a disproportionate burden of its cost. A model of conflict is set up to study the incentives of the poor majority to go to war. Analyzing a dynamic setting it also investigates the circumstances when after defeating Athens her enemy chooses to impose oligarchy that disenfranchises the poor. As victory at war is probabilistic it is concluded that the fall of the democracy was neither avoidable nor inevitable.

    AB - The ancient Athenian democracy emerged in 508 (all dates BCE), became a dominant naval power, fought a multitude of external wars and ended in 322 after it was defeated by Macedon and was replaced by oligarchy. The paper employs a political economy framework to examine the demise of democracy. It illustrates that war was a means of redistribution, benefiting the majority of poorer Athenians at the expense of the rich elite, who bore a disproportionate burden of its cost. A model of conflict is set up to study the incentives of the poor majority to go to war. Analyzing a dynamic setting it also investigates the circumstances when after defeating Athens her enemy chooses to impose oligarchy that disenfranchises the poor. As victory at war is probabilistic it is concluded that the fall of the democracy was neither avoidable nor inevitable.

    KW - Democracy

    KW - Ancient Athens

    KW - redistribution

    KW - conflict

    KW - disenfranchisement

    U2 - 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2015.01.002

    DO - 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2015.01.002

    M3 - Article

    VL - 31

    JO - European Journal of Political Economy

    T2 - European Journal of Political Economy

    JF - European Journal of Political Economy

    SN - 0176-2680

    ER -