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Expressive and Instrumental Voting: The Scylla and Charybdis of Constitutional Political Economy

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Author Info

  • Eric Crampton

    (University of Canterbury)

  • Andrew Farrant

    (George Mason University)

Abstract

Brennan and Hamlin (2002) note that expressive voting still holds at the constitutional phase. The argument, when taken to its necessary conclusion, proves quite problematic for Constitutional Political Economy. Veil mechanisms following Buchanan induce expressive voting at the constitutional phase, removing the normative benefits ascribed to the hypothetical unanimity principle. If the constitution is authored by a small group and the veil is thereby removed, instrumental considerations come to bear and the authors of the constitution establish themselves as Oligarch.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 0401002.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 07 Jan 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0401002

Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on WinXP; pages: 25. 25 pg pdf document
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: expressive voting; constitutional political economy; Leviathan;

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  1. Casey B. Mulligan & Charles G. Hunter, 2000. "The Empirical Frequency of a Pivotal Vote," Working Papers 0025, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  2. McGuire, Robert A & Ohsfeldt, Robert L, 1989. "Self-interest, Agency Theory, and Political Voting Behavior: The Ratification of the United States Constitution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 219-34, March.
  3. Levy, David M, 1989. "The Statistical Basis of Athenian-American Constitutional Theory," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 79-103, January.
  4. Bryan Caplan, 2002. "Systematically Biased Beliefs About Economics: Robust Evidence of Judgemental Anomalies from the Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 433-458, April.
  5. Moe, Terry M, 1990. "Political Institutions: The Neglected Side of the Story," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(0), pages 213-53.
  6. Caplan, Bryan, 2001. " Rational Irrationality and the Microfoundations of Political Failure," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 107(3-4), pages 311-31, June.
  7. Geoffrey Brennan & Alan Hamlin, 2002. "Expressive Constitutionalism," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 299-311, December.
  8. Bryan Caplan, 2000. "Rational Irrationality: A Framework for the Neoclassical-Behavioral Debate," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 191-211, Spring.
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Cited by:
  1. Hamlin, Alan & Jennings, Colin, 2009. "Expressive Political Behaviour: Foundations, Scope and Implications," SIRE Discussion Papers 2009-41, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).

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