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Explaining constitutional garrulity

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  • Voigt, Stefan

Abstract

Constitutions differ dramatically in length although they serve very similar functions everywhere. This paper tries to identify some determinants of constitutional length. It contains a new dataset spelling out the length of 135 constitutions in words. It turns out that a common law legal origin significantly increases the length of the constitution, whereas countries in the Middle East and North Africa have significantly shorter constitutions. Further, having been a British or Spanish colony is correlated with longer constitutions, a higher share of Protestants with shorter constitutions.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Review of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 29 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 290-303

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Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:29:y:2009:i:4:p:290-303

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/irle

Related research

Keywords: Constitutional Choice Positive Constitutional Economics Endogenous Constitution;

References

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  1. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  3. Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & La Porta, Rafael, 2008. "The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins," Scholarly Articles 2962610, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Bockstette, Valerie & Chanda, Areendam & Putterman, Louis, 2002. " States and Markets: The Advantage of an Early Start," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 347-69, December.
  5. Alvaro Montenegro, 1995. "Constitutional design and economic performance," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 161-169, June.
  6. Wacziarg, Romain & Alesina, Alberto & Devleeschauwer, Arnaud & Easterly, William & Kurlat, Sergio, 2002. "Fractionalization," Research Papers 1744, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  7. Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1999. "A Data Set on Income Distribution," CEMA Working Papers 575, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  8. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  9. Klaus Deininger & Lyn Squire, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 512, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  10. Lorenz Blume & Jens Müller & Stefan Voigt & Carsten Wolf, 2007. "The Economic Effects of Constitutions: Replicating – and Extending – Persson and Tabellini," CESifo Working Paper Series 2017, CESifo Group Munich.
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