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The European Constitution Project from the Perspective of Constitutional Political Economy

  • Lars P. Feld


    (Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Philipps Universitaet Marburg)

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 European Parliament is not sufficient in order to legitimate political decisions at the EU level. 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 competencies and rules to resolve conflicts between different centers of power. A European federation should be organized according to the principles of competitive federalism.

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Paper provided by Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung) in its series Marburg Working Papers on Economics with number 200415.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mar:volksw:200415
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Universitätsstraße 25, 35037 Marburg

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  1. Lars P. Feld & Justina A.V. Fischer & Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2010. "The Effect Of Direct Democracy On Income Redistribution: Evidence For Switzerland," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(4), pages 817-840, October.
  2. Lars P. Feld & John G. Matsusaka, 2000. "Budget Referendums and Government Spending: Evidence from Swiss," CESifo Working Paper Series 323, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Vaubel, Roland, 2002. "Die Politische Ökonomie des Europäischen Verfassungskonvents," Wirtschaftsdienst – Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftspolitik (1949 - 2007), ZBW – German National Library of Economics / Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 82(10), pages 636-640.
  4. Stefan Voigt, . "Iudex Calculat: The ECJ's Quest for Power," German Working Papers in Law and Economics 2003-1-1066, Berkeley Electronic Press.
  5. Feld, Lars P. & Voigt, Stefan, 2003. "Economic growth and judicial independence: cross-country evidence using a new set of indicators," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 497-527, September.
  6. Richard Baldwin; Paul Krugman, 2001. "Agglomeration, Integration and Tax Harmonization," IHEID Working Papers 01-2001, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
  7. 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.
  8. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2008. "Issue Unbundling via Citizens' Initiatives," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 3(4), pages 379-397, December.
  9. Lars P. Feld & Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2004. "The Role of Direct Democracy in the European Union," Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200423, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  10. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1997. "The selection principle and market failure in systems competition," Munich Reprints in Economics 19854, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  11. Frey, Bruno S & Stutzer, Alois, 2000. "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 918-38, October.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Steunenberg, Bernard, 1992. "Referendum, Initiative, and Veto Power: Budgetary Decision Making in Local Government," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 501-29.
  17. Kessler, Anke, 2003. "Representative versus Direct Democracy: The Role of Informational Asymmetries," CEPR Discussion Papers 3911, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Hans-Werner Sinn & Frank Westermann, 2001. "Two Mezzogiornos," NBER Working Papers 8125, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2001. "The New Systems Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 623, CESifo Group Munich.
  20. Charles B. Blankart & Dennis C. Mueller, 2002. "Alternativen der parlamentarischen Demokratie," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(1), pages 1-21, 02.
  21. McKay, David, 2001. "Designing Europe: Comparative Lessons from the Federal Experience," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199244355, December.
  22. 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.
  23. Dennis C. Mueller, 2003. "Rights and Citizenship in the European Union," CESifo Working Paper Series 896, CESifo Group Munich.
  24. Guido Tabellini, 2003. "Principles of Policymaking in the European Union: An Economic Perspective," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 49(1), pages 75-102.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. John G. Matsusaka, 1992. "Economics of Direct Legislation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 541-571.
  32. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, . "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," Working Papers 100, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  33. Wellisch,Dietmar, 2000. "Theory of Public Finance in a Federal State," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521630351, November.
  34. Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 1994. "Constitutional Economics and Its Relevance for the Evolution of Rules," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 321-39.
  35. 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.
  36. Charles Blankart, 2000. "The Process of Government Centralization: A Constitutional View," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 27-39, March.
  37. Blomberg, S.B. & Hess, G.D., 1999. "The Impact of Voter Initiatives on Economic Activity," Papers 99-11, Wellesley College - Department of Economics.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. Thomas Romer & Howard Rosenthal, 1979. "Bureaucrats Versus Voters: On the Political Economy of Resource Allocation by Direct Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(4), pages 563-587.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. James M. Poterba & Jürgen von Hagen, 1999. "Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote99-1, September.
  45. 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, January.
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