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Constitutional Rules

  • Francesco Giovannoni
  • Toke S. Aidt

This paper proposes a normative theory of constitutional rules. We characterize the set of optimal constitutional rules under different assumptions about the degree of contractual imperfections. Our model explains why constitutions contain different types of rules. In particular, we derive conditions under which it is optimal, in addition to a standard decision rule (e.g., simple majority), to introduce veto rules (that block certain types of decisions) and supermajority rules (that allow the veto rule to be overruled). Our model also explains the existence of amendment rules and checks and balances

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File URL: http://repec.org/esNASM04/up.25897.1075585313.pdf
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Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings with number 540.

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Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ecm:nasm04:540
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  1. Matthias Messner & Mattias K. Polborn, 2004. "Voting on Majority Rules," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 115-132.
  2. Davide Ticchi & Andrea Vindigni, 2010. "Endogenous Constitutions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(543), pages 1-39, 03.
  3. Salvador BARBER?Author-Email: salvador.barbera@uab.es & Matthew O. JACKSON, 2003. "Choosing How to Choose: Self-Stable Majority Rules and Constitutions," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 596.03, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  4. 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.
  5. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1998. "Foundations of incomplete contracts," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19354, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 2003. "Incomplete Social Contracts," Scholarly Articles 4554123, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Aghion, Philippe & Alesina, Alberto F & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. "Endogenous Political Institutions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Giovanni Maggi & Massimo Morelli, 2003. "Self Enforcing Voting in International Organizations," NBER Working Papers 10102, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Giovannoni, Francesco, 2003. " Amendment Rules in Constitutions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 115(1-2), pages 37-61, April.
  10. Mueller, Dennis C, 1991. "Constitutional Rights," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 313-33, Fall.
  11. Hans Gersbach, 2002. "Democratic Mechanisms: Double Majority Rules and Flexible Agenda Costs," CESifo Working Paper Series 749, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Voigt, Stefan, 1997. " Positive Constitutional Economics: A Survey," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 90(1-4), pages 11-53, March.
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