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Constitutional Theory and the Constitutional History of Colonial America

Author

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  • Holcombe, R.G.

Abstract

The constitutional theory developed by Buchanan and Tullock is extended to show that the greater the degree of consensus required for collective decisions, smaller will be the optimal scope of government activity. Furthermore, a requirement of more consensus in collective decision-making entails not only a more inclusive decision rule, but additional institutional changes designed to facilitate the reaching of agreement. These theoretical concepts are applied to the constitutional history of colonial America by examining the government of the Iroquois Indians, the Albany Plan of Union, the Articles of Confederation, and the U.S. Constitution.

Suggested Citation

  • Holcombe, R.G., 1998. "Constitutional Theory and the Constitutional History of Colonial America," Working Papers 1998_03_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:fsu:wpaper:1998_03_01
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    Cited by:

    1. George Crowley, 2012. "Spatial dependence in constitutional constraints: the case of US states," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 134-165, June.
    2. Jean-Michel Josselin & Alain Marciano, 2000. "Displacing your Principal. Two Historical Case Studies of Some Interest for the Constitutional Future of Europe," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 217-233, November.
    3. Jean-Michel Josselin & Alain Marciano, 2007. "How the court made a federation of the EU," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 59-75, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ECONOMIC HISTORY ; ECONOMIC THEORY ; SOCIAL CHOICE;

    JEL classification:

    • N41 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

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