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Expressive and Instrumental Voting: The Scylla and Charybdis of Constitutional Political Economy

Author

Listed:
  • Eric Crampton

    (University of Canterbury)

  • Andrew Farrant

    (George Mason University)

Abstract

Brennan and Hamlin (2002) note that expressive voting still holds at the constitutional phase. The argument, when taken to its necessary conclusion, proves quite problematic for Constitutional Political Economy. Veil mechanisms following Buchanan induce expressive voting at the constitutional phase, removing the normative benefits ascribed to the hypothetical unanimity principle. If the constitution is authored by a small group and the veil is thereby removed, instrumental considerations come to bear and the authors of the constitution establish themselves as Oligarch.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric Crampton & Andrew Farrant, 2004. "Expressive and Instrumental Voting: The Scylla and Charybdis of Constitutional Political Economy," Public Economics 0401002, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0401002 Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on WinXP; pages: 25. 25 pg pdf document
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Geoffrey Brennan & Alan Hamlin, 2002. "Expressive Constitutionalism," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 299-311, December.
    2. McGuire, Robert A & Ohsfeldt, Robert L, 1989. "Self-interest, Agency Theory, and Political Voting Behavior: The Ratification of the United States Constitution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 219-234, March.
    3. Bryan Caplan, 2000. "Rational Irrationality: A Framework for the Neoclassical-Behavioral Debate," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 191-211, Spring.
    4. Levy, David M, 1989. "The Statistical Basis of Athenian-American Constitutional Theory," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 79-103, January.
    5. Mulligan, Casey B & Hunter, Charles G, 2003. "The Empirical Frequency of a Pivotal Vote," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 116(1-2), pages 31-54, July.
    6. Moe, Terry M, 1990. "Political Institutions: The Neglected Side of the Story," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(0), pages 213-253.
    7. Bryan Caplan, 2002. "Systematically Biased Beliefs About Economics: Robust Evidence of Judgemental Anomalies from the Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 433-458, April.
    8. Caplan, Bryan, 2001. "Rational Irrationality and the Microfoundations of Political Failure," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 107(3-4), pages 311-331, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hamlin, Alan & Jennings, Colin, 2011. "Expressive Political Behaviour: Foundations, Scope and Implications," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(03), pages 645-670, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    expressive voting; constitutional political economy; Leviathan;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General

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