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Public Choice, Constitutional Political Economy and Law and Economics

  • Ludwig van den Hauwe

The various subdisciplines within the emerging ‘new institutionalism’ in economics all draw special attention to the legal-political constraints within which economic and political agents choose and therefore represent a return of economics to its appropriate legal foundations. By changing the name of his research programme to constitutional political economy Buchanan distanced himself from those parts of the public choice literature that remained too close to the traditional welfare economics approach. This chapter draws lessons for law and economics from recent developments in the re-emerging field of constitutional political economy. CPE compares alternative sets of institutional arrangements, in markets and the polity, and their outcomes, using ‘democratic consent’ as an internal standard of comparison. The chapter discusses the methodological foundation of the CPE approach, presents Buchanan’s reconstruction of the Coase theorem along subjectivist-contractarian lines and gives an overview of recent contributions to the literature. JEL classification: B41, D70, H10 Keywords: Constitutional Economics, Constitutional Political Economy, Public Choice, James M. Buchanan, Methodological Foundation

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Method and Hist of Econ Thought with number 0508001.

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Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: 08 Aug 2005
Date of revision: 09 Aug 2005
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmh:0508001
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 57.
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Landes, William M & Posner, Richard A, 1975. "The Independent Judiciary in an Interest-Group Perspective," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 875-901, December.
  2. Coase Ronald, 1991. "The Institutional Structure of Production," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 2(4), pages 10, December.
  3. Demsetz, Harold, 1969. "Information and Efficiency: Another Viewpoint," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 1-22, April.
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