Explaining constitutional garrulity
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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