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The European Constitution Project from the Perspective of Constitutional Political Economy

  • Lars P. Feld

Three topics of a European constitution are discussed. First, basic arguments from constitutional political economy that aim at restricting representatives? potential misuse of powers in a European Union with extended competencies are summarized. Since a European demos does not yet exist, an extension of competencies of the Euro¬pean Parliament is not sufficient in order to legitimate political decisions at the EU le¬vel. The introduction of elements of direct democracy in the European constitution would shape the creation of such a demos and lead to a stronger control of the European legislature and executive. Second, the introduction of direct democracy in the European constitution is proposed in order to reduce the European democratic deficit. Third, the creation of a European federation requires a more transparent assignment of competen¬cies and rules to resolve conflicts between different centers of power. A European fede¬ration should be organized according to the principles of competitive federalism.

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Paper provided by Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) in its series CREMA Working Paper Series with number 2005-20.

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Date of creation: Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2005-20
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  1. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2001. "The New Systems Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 623, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Matsusaka, John G, 1995. "Fiscal Effects of the Voter Initiative: Evidence from the Last 30 Years," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 587-623, June.
  3. Lars P. Feld & Justina A.V. Fischer & Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2006. "The Effect of Direct Democracy on Income Redistribution:Evidence for Switzerland," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 23, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  4. Matsusaka, John G & McCarty, Nolan M, 2001. "Political Resource Allocation: Benefits and Costs of Voter Initiatives," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 413-48, October.
  5. Feld, Lars P & Savioz, Marcel R, 1997. "Direct Democracy Matters for Economic Performance: An Empirical Investigation," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 507-38.
  6. Matthias Benz & Alois Stutzer, 2004. "Are Voters Better Informed When They Have a Larger Say in Politics? -- Evidence for the European Union and Switzerland," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 119(1_2), pages 31-59, 04.
  7. Dennis C. Mueller, 2003. "Rights and Citizenship in the European Union," CESifo Working Paper Series 896, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Charles Blankart, 2000. "The Process of Government Centralization: A Constitutional View," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 27-39, March.
  9. Guido Tabellini, 2003. "Principles of Policymaking in the European Union: an Economic Perspective," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000157, David K. Levine.
  10. Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 1994. "Constitutional Economics and Its Relevance for the Evolution of Rules," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 321-39.
  11. Feld, Lars P. & Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 2000. "Direct democracy, political culture, and the outcome of economic policy: a report on the Swiss experience," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 287-306, June.
  12. Lars P. Feld & Stefan Voigt, 2003. "Economic Growth and Judicial Independence: Cross Country Evidence Using a New Set of Indicators," CESifo Working Paper Series 906, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Feld, Lars P. & Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Schnellenbach, Jan, 2008. "On government centralization and fiscal referendums," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 611-645, May.
  14. Charles B. Blankart & Dennis C. Mueller, 2002. "Alternativen der parlamentarischen Demokratie," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(1), pages 1-21, 02.
  15. Charles B. Blankart & Christian Kirchner, 2003. "The Deadlock of the EU Budget: An Economic Analysis of Ways In and Ways Out," CESifo Working Paper Series 989, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," IEW - Working Papers 015, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  17. Anke Kessler, 2005. "Representative versus direct democracy: The role of informational asymmetries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 9-38, January.
  18. Vaubel, Roland, 2002. "Die Politische Ökonomie des Europäischen Verfassungskonvents," Wirtschaftsdienst – Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik (1998 - 2007), ZBW – German National Library of Economics / Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 82(10), pages 636-640.
  19. Blomberg, S. Brock & Hess, Gregory D. & Weerapana, Akila, 2004. "The impact of voter initiatives on economic activity," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 207-226, March.
  20. James M. Poterba & Jürgen von Hagen, 1999. "Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote99-1, December.
  21. Baldwin, Richard & Krugman, Paul, 2000. "Agglomeration, Integration and Tax Harmonization," CEPR Discussion Papers 2630, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 2000. "Issue Unbundling via Citizens' Initiatives," NBER Working Papers 8036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Lars P. Feld & Gebhard Kirchgassner, 1999. "Public Debt and Budgetary Procedures: Top Down or Bottom Up? Some Evidence from Swiss Municipalities," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 151-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Pommerehne, Werner W., 1978. "Institutional approaches to public expenditure : Empirical evidence from Swiss municipalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 255-280, April.
  25. Lars P Feld & Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2001. "The political economy of direct legislation: direct democracy and local decision-making," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(33), pages 329-367, October.
  26. Matsusaka, John G, 2000. "Fiscal Effects of the Voter Initiative in the First Half of the Twentieth Century," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 619-50, October.
  27. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1997. "The selection principle and market failure in systems competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 247-274, November.
  28. Feld, Lars P, 2000. " Tax Competition and Income Redistribution: An Empirical Analysis for Switzerland," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(1-2), pages 125-64, October.
  29. Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gerard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202, November.
  30. Hans-Werner Sinn & Frank Westermann, 2000. "Two Mezzogiornos," CESifo Working Paper Series 378, CESifo Group Munich.
  31. McKay, David, 2001. "Designing Europe: Comparative Lessons from the Federal Experience," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199244355, March.
  32. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2004. "The new systems competition," Munich Reprints in Economics 19608, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  33. Steunenberg, Bernard, 1992. "Referendum, Initiative, and Veto Power: Budgetary Decision Making in Local Government," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 501-29.
  34. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1997. "The selection principle and market failure in systems competition," Munich Reprints in Economics 19854, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  35. Kirchgassner, Gebhard & Pommerehne, Werner W., 1996. "Tax harmonization and tax competition in the European Union: Lessons from Switzerland," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 351-371, June.
  36. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521630351 is not listed on IDEAS
  37. Levmore, Saul, 1992. "Bicameralism: When are two decisions better than one?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 145-162, June.
  38. Pommerehne, Werner W & Weck-Hannemann, Hannelore, 1996. " Tax Rates, Tax Administration and Income Tax Evasion in Switzerland," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 88(1-2), pages 161-70, July.
  39. Stefan Voigt, . "Iudex Calculat: The ECJ's Quest for Power," German Working Papers in Law and Economics 2003-1-1066, Berkeley Electronic Press.
  40. Anthony M. Marino & John G. Matsusaka, 2005. "Decision Processes, Agency Problems, and Information: An Economic Analysis of Capital Budgeting Procedures," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(1), pages 301-325.
  41. Feld, Lars P, 2000. "Steuerwettbewerb und seine Auswirkungen auf Allokation und Distribution," Beiträge zur Finanzwissenschaft, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, edition 1, volume 10, number urn:isbn:9783161473852.
  42. Lars P. Feld & John G. Matsusaka, 2000. "Budget Referendums and Government Spending: Evidence from Swiss," CESifo Working Paper Series 323, CESifo Group Munich.
  43. Kiewiet, D Roderick & Szakaly, Kristin, 1996. "Constitutional Limitations on Borrowing: An Analysis of State Bonded Indebtedness," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 62-97, April.
  44. Feld, Lars P. & Matsusaka, John G., 2003. "Budget referendums and government spending: evidence from Swiss cantons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2703-2724, December.
  45. Lars P. Feld & Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2003. "The Role of Direct Democracy in the European Union," CESifo Working Paper Series 1083, CESifo Group Munich.
  46. Matsusaka, John G, 1992. "Economics of Direct Legislation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 541-71, May.
  47. Romer, Thomas & Rosenthal, Howard, 1979. "Bureaucrats versus Voters: On the Political Economy of Resource Allocation by Direct Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 563-87, November.
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