Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

The Economic Analysis of Constitutions: Fatalism Versus Vitalism

by

Abstract

We review the claim that the field of political economy has witnessed a quantum leap with Torsten Persson and Guido TabelliniĀ“s The Economic Effects of Constitutions. We find that the approach of Persson and Tabellini suffers from the neglect of previous research, notably in public choice tradition, a lack of a meaningful point of reference, and the disregard of individual liberty as a guiding principle. Their approach has only limited
value for formulating, exploring, and judging institutional reforms, particularly reforms outside narrow bounds around the status quo of the liberal democracies.

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Volume (Issue)
Pages
169-183
Published
JEL classification
H0, H1
Keywords
Positive political economy, constitutional political economy, constitutional choice, general economic theory, public choice
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