Sascha O. Becker, Erik Hornung, 17 May 2020

The Prussian three-class franchise is a classic example of a system that politically over-represented the economic elite. Contrary to the predominant and simplistic view that the system allowed the landed elites to capture most political rents, this column finds that, conditional on land ownership inequality, MPs from constituencies with a higher vote inequality support more liberal policies, gauging their political orientation from the universe of roll call votes cast in parliament during Prussia’s rapid industrialisation in the second half of the 19th century.

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