IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Ökonomische Theorie der Verfassung


  • Gebhard Kirchgässner


In this paper the approach of Constitutional Economics is presented and some of its applications are shown. First, the concept of the original position (constitutional convention) with its informational restrictions and the unanimity rule are discussed. Next, the exchange paradigm which lies behind the whole approach and the role of the self-interest assumption are discussed. Then it is asked for the value judgments which have to be accepted whenever this approach is to be applied to problems of real constitutions. Finally, we show applications of this approach to problems of public debt, taxation, fiscal federalism as well as the tension between liberalism and democracy as organising principles of a modern society. In dieser Arbeit wird der Ansatz der Ökonomischen Theorie der Verfassung (Constitutional Economics) mit einigen seiner Anwendungsfelder vorgestellt. Zunächst wird das Konzept des Urzustandes (der verfassungsgebenden Versammlung bzw. der Ebene des Grundkonsenses) mit seinen Informationsbeschänkungen erläutert und die dort zur Anwendung kommende Einstimmigkeitsregel diskutiert. Danach wird auf das Tauschparadigma eingegangen, welches hinter diesem Ansatz steht, sowie auf die verwendete Motivationsannahme des Eigeninteresses. Im weiteren wird nach den Werturteilen gefragt, die akzeptiert werden müssen, wenn aus diesem Ansatz Vorschläge zur Lösung realer Probleme abgeleitet werden sollen. Schliesslich werden als Beispiele Anwendungen aufgezeigt: auf Probleme der öffentlichen Schuld, der Besteuerung, des fiskalischen Föderalismus sowie auf das Spannungsfeld zwischen Liberalismus und Demokratie als Organisationsprinzipien moderner Gesellschaften.

Suggested Citation

  • Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2004. "Ökonomische Theorie der Verfassung," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2004 2004-17, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2004:2004-17

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Constitutional Contractarianism; Original Position; Veil of Ignorance; Self-Interest; Value Judgments; Public Debt; Taxation; Fischal Federalism; Liberalism; Democracy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:usg:dp2004:2004-17. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Joerg Baumberger (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.