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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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  • U. Witt

    ()

  • C. 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.

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Paper provided by Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography in its series Papers on Economics and Evolution with number 2008-03.

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Date of creation: May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2008-03

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Keywords: constitutional preferences; social contract; original position; innovation; risk preferences Length 34 pages;

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  1. Ken Binmore, 1994. "Game Theory and the Social Contract, Volume 1: Playing Fair," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262023636, December.
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  5. John C. Harsanyi, 1953. "Cardinal Utility in Welfare Economics and in the Theory of Risk-taking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61, pages 434.
  6. James Buchanan, 2005. "Afraid to be free: Dependency as desideratum," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 19-31, July.
  7. Hartmut Kliemt, 2005. "Public choice and political philosophy: Reflections on the works of Gordon Spinoza and David Immanuel Buchanan," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 125(1), pages 203-213, July.
  8. Hartmut Kliemt, 2004. "Contractarianism as Liberal Conservatism: Buchanan's Unfinished Philosophical Agenda," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, 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, American Economic Association, vol. 65(2), pages 225-30, May.
  10. Vanberg, Viktor J., 2005. "Market and state: the perspective of constitutional political economy," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 23-49, June.
  11. Witt, Ulrich, 1996. " Innovations, Externalities and the Problem of Economic Progress," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 89(1-2), pages 113-30, October.
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  13. Buchanan, James M & Vanberg, Viktor J, 2002. " Constitutional Implications of Radical Subjectivism," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 15(2-3), pages 121-29, June.
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Cited by:
  1. 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, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 234(2-3), pages 328-349, April.
  2. Christian Schubert, 2009. "Welfare Creation and Destruction in a Schumpeterian World," Papers on Economics and Evolution, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography 2009-14, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  3. 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, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 721-725.
  4. Viktor J. Vanberg, 2009. "Evolving Preferences and Policy Advice in Democratic Society," Papers on Economics and Evolution, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography 2009-19, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.

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