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Constitutional interests in the face of innovations: how much do we need to know about risk preferences?

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  • Ulrich Witt

    ()

  • Christian Schubert

Abstract

In constitutional political economy, the citizens’ constitutional interests determine the social contract that is binding for the post-constitutional market game. However, following traditional preference subjectivism, it is left open what the constitutional interest are. Using the example of risk attitudes, we argue that this approach is too parsimonious with regard to the behavioral foundations to support a calculus of consent. In face of innovative activities with pecuniary and technological externalities in the post-constitutional phase, the citizens’ constitutional interests vary with their risk preferences. To determine what kind of social contract is generally agreeable, specific assumptions about risk preferences are needed.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10602-008-9044-6
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Constitutional Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 19 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 203-225

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Handle: RePEc:kap:copoec:v:19:y:2008:i:3:p:203-225

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102866

Related research

Keywords: Constitutional preferences; Social contract; Original position; Innovation; Risk preferences; D72; H10; O33;

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References

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  1. James Buchanan, 2005. "Afraid to be free: Dependency as desideratum," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 19-31, July.
  2. Rubin, Paul H & Paul, Chris W, II, 1979. "An Evolutionary Model of Taste for Risk," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 17(4), pages 585-96, October.
  3. Hartmut Kliemt, 2005. "Public choice and political philosophy: Reflections on the works of Gordon Spinoza and David Immanuel Buchanan," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 125(1), pages 203-213, July.
  4. John C. Harsanyi, 1953. "Cardinal Utility in Welfare Economics and in the Theory of Risk-taking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61, pages 434.
  5. Buchanan, James M & Vanberg, Viktor J, 2002. " Constitutional Implications of Radical Subjectivism," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2-3), pages 121-29, June.
  6. Vanberg, Viktor J., 2005. "Market and state: the perspective of constitutional political economy," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 23-49, June.
  7. Witt, Ulrich, 1996. " Innovations, Externalities and the Problem of Economic Progress," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 89(1-2), pages 113-30, October.
  8. Hartmut Kliemt, 2004. "Contractarianism as Liberal Conservatism: Buchanan's Unfinished Philosophical Agenda," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 171-185, 06.
  9. Buchanan, James M, 1975. "A Contractarian Paradigm for Applying Economic Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(2), pages 225-30, May.
  10. Mozaffar Qizilbash, 1997. "Needs, Incommensurability and Well-being," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 261-276.
  11. Schlicht, Ekkehart, 1996. "Exploiting the Coase Mechanism: The Extortion Problem," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 319-30.
  12. Ulrich Witt, 2003. "Economic policy making in evolutionary perspective," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 77-94, 04.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Binder, Martin & Witt, Ulrich, 2012. "A critical note on the role of the capability approach for sustainability economics," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 721-725.
  2. Viktor J. Vanberg, 2014. "Evolving Preferences and Welfare Economics: The Perspective of Constitutional Political Economy," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 234(2-3), pages 328-349, April.
  3. Christian Schubert, 2009. "Welfare Creation and Destruction in a Schumpeterian World," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2009-14, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
  4. Viktor J. Vanberg, 2009. "Evolving Preferences and Policy Advice in Democratic Society," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2009-19, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.

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