The political economy of constitutional restraints
SourceConstitutional Political Economy
Google Scholar check
MetadataShow full item record
Constitutions are multidimensional objects with non-trivial implications on the structure of the political environment and, therefore, on the policy outcomes. This paper models constitutions as sets of "restraints" on the authority's choice freedom (absolute and democracy restraints). We argue that even if both kinds of restraints seem to be serving the same purpose (increase social welfare), "democracy restraints" prolong the "life" of a constitution while "absolute restraints" not. We moreover use the proposed way of modelling constitutions in order to explain the dominance of intermediate (in terms of tightness of "democracy restraints") constitutions in the real world. © 2011 Springer Science + Business Media, LLC.