IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Constitutions as Equilibria: A Game-theoretic Approach to Positive Constitutional Economics

Listed author(s):
  • Kirstein, Roland
  • Voigt, Stefan

The aim of this paper is to derive conditions under which either dictatorship or the rule of law are the equilibria of a post-constitutional game. It thus contributes to positive constitutional economics, i.e., the research program that is interested in explaining the emergence of constitutions and their change over time. In our model, society is assumed to consist of two groups one of which has a comparative advantage in using violence. Violence can be used to produce (transactional) security as well as to exploit the weaker group, which has a comparative advantage in producing a private good. Yet, exploitation is limited: it increases the chances of a revolution and reduces the incentives of the exploited group to produce the private good. The model identifies the conditions under which the two groups will comply with a social contract which consists of the exchange of high effort in producing the private good against provision of security. We also identify conditions under which a social contract is cheap talk and exploitation occurs.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Saarland University, CSLE - Center for the Study of Law and Economics in its series CSLE Discussion Paper Series with number 99-04.

in new window

Date of creation: 1999
Handle: RePEc:zbw:csledp:9904
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Postfach 151150, 66041 Saarbr├╝cken

Phone: *49(0)681-302 2132
Fax: *49(0)681-302 3591
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:csledp:9904. 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: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.