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Social rights in the constitution and in practice

  • Ben-Bassat, Avi
  • Dahan, Momi

This paper presents a new data set on constitutional commitments to social rights (CCSR) for 68 countries. Quantitative indices are constructed for five social rights: the right to social security, education, health, housing and workers rights. We find two clear groups classified by legal origins: countries which share the tradition of French civil law generally have a higher CCSR than those that share the tradition of English common law. The CCSR in socialist countries is closer to French civil law, whereas countries with a German or Scandinavian tradition resemble the English common law countries more closely. Then the paper addresses the following question: is the constitution a binding constraint on public policy? We have not found a robust effect of CCSR on public policy except for the constitutional right to social security. Journal of Comparative Economics 36 (1) (2008) 103-119.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 103-119

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:36:y:2008:i:1:p:103-119
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864

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