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Economic Rights and the Policymaker's Decision Problem

  • Lanse Minkler

Economic rights can be instantiated in a variety of ways. This paper investigates the problem with making economic rights into policy from one source: the political policymaker. By modeling the policymaker's decision problem we can identify particular decision flaws and possible correctives that might prompt economic rights instantiation through "enlightened self-interest." A complementary approach involves constitutionalizing economic rights with directive principles and enforceable law, which could work somewhat independently of the policymaker's preferences and/or beliefs. The last part of the paper looks at a sample of actual constitutions to see if government effort toward economic rights fulfillment is related with constitutionalization. The evidence here suggests a positive relationship: those countries with better economic rights provisions in their constitutions demonstrate greater economic rights effort.

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File URL: http://web2.uconn.edu/economics/working/5.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Human Rights Institute in its series Economic Rights Working Papers with number 5.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:ecriwp:5
Note: Paper presented at the conference America, Human Rights and the World, Marquette University September 27-29, 2007. The idea for this paper was prompted by a one-day workshop held by the Economic Rights Group at the University of Connecticut entitled Instantiating Economic Rights. I thank ERG members for comments on this version, especially Shareen Hertel, Susan Randolph and Lyle Scruggs. I also thank David Forsythe, Richard Goldstone, Wiktor Osiatynski, and Richard Ashby Wilson for their comments.
Contact details of provider: Postal: University of Connecticut Thomas J. Dodd Research Center 405 Babbidge Road, Unit 1205 Storrs, CT 06269-1205
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Fax: 860-486-6332
Web page: http://www.humanrights.uconn.edu/

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