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Government, clubs, and constitutions

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  • Leeson, Peter T.

Abstract

This paper analyzes “constitutional effectiveness” – the degree to which constitutions can be enforced – in the system of government vs. the system of clubs. I argue that clubs have residual claimants on revenues generated through constitutional compliance, operate in a highly competitive environment, and permit individuals to sort themselves according to their governance needs. These features make their constitutional contracts self-enforcing. Government lacks these features. So its constitutional contract is not. Institutional augmentations that make government more club-like, such as federalism, democracy, and limited government scope, improve government's constitutional effectiveness. But constitutional effectiveness remains superior in the system of clubs.

Suggested Citation

  • Leeson, Peter T., 2011. "Government, clubs, and constitutions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 301-308.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:80:y:2011:i:2:p:301-308
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2011.05.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Forte & Mihai Mutascu, 2015. "State fragility and fiscal decentralization in EU ex-communist countries in a public choice approach," Working Papers halshs-01101558, HAL.
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Andrew T. Young, 2015. "Hospitalitas," Working Papers 15-41, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    4. Andrew Young, 2015. "From Caesar to Tacitus: changes in early Germanic governance circa 50 BC-50 AD," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 164(3), pages 357-378, September.
    5. Alexander Salter, 2015. "Calhoun’s concurrent majority as a generality norm," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 375-390, September.
    6. repec:eee:jcecon:v:45:y:2017:i:4:p:751-772 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Mehrdad Vahabi, 2016. "A positive theory of the predatory state," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 168(3), pages 153-175, September.
    8. Andrew T. Young, 2016. "What does it take for a roving bandit settle down? Theory and an illustrative history of the Visigoths," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 168(1), pages 75-102, July.
    9. repec:kap:pubcho:v:174:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-018-0499-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Peter Boettke & Jayme Lemke & Liya Palagashvili, 2015. "Polycentricity, Self-governance, and the Art & Science of Association," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 28(3), pages 311-335, September.
    11. Joseph Michael Newhard, 2016. "An Interest Group Theory of Public Goods Provision: Reassessing the Relative Efficiency of the Market and the State," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 31(Winter 20), pages 21-41.
    12. Ilia Murtazashvili & Jennifer Murtazashvili, 2015. "Anarchy, self-governance, and legal titling," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 162(3), pages 287-305, March.
    13. Peter Boettke & Christopher Coyne & Peter Leeson, 2011. "Quasimarket failure," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 149(1), pages 209-224, October.
    14. repec:kap:copoec:v:29:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10602-018-9258-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Alexander Salter, 2014. "Is there a self-enforcing monetary constitution?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 280-300, September.
    16. Emily Skarbek, 2014. "The Chicago Fire of 1871: a bottom-up approach to disaster relief," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 160(1), pages 155-180, July.
    17. Leeson, Peter T. & Suarez, Paola A., 2016. "An economic analysis of Magna Carta," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(S), pages 40-46.
    18. Andrew T. Young, 2015. "Visigothic Retinues: Roving Bandits that Succeeded Rome," Working Papers 15-09, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    19. Alexander Salter, 2015. "Sovereignty as exchange of political property rights," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 165(1), pages 79-96, October.
    20. repec:spr:ecogov:v:19:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10101-017-0199-3 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Buchanan; Government; Clubs; Constitution;

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General

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