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Working Paper #24

Constitutional Design and Economic Freedom



Abstract: Buchanan and Tullock’s original trade-off model of constitutional design is used to analyze how constitutional design affects post-constitutional rent seeking, and, in turn, how the anticipation of post-constitution rent seeking should lead to modification of constitutional design—specifically with respect to imposing and maintaining effective super-majority approval rules. The effects of de jure constitution enumerations and the number of de facto veto players in a polity on economic freedom are empirically explored with the result that only a few constitutional characteristics, such as a bicameral legislature, religious freedom and the de facto veto players, seem to matter.






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