- Elgar original reference
Edited by Jürgen G. Backhaus
Chapter 13: Constitutional Economics II
13 Constitutional economics II Ludwig Van den Hauwe Introduction The term ‘constitutional economics’ or ‘constitutional political economy’ was introduced in the 1970s to designate a distinct strand of research that emerged from the somewhat older public choice branch of economics.1 In the 1990s, constitutional economics developed into a major research programme. At a time of massive worldwide constitutional change, it came as no surprise that the focus of public choice discussion was shifted away from ordinary political choices to the institutional–constitutional structure within which politics takes place. However, the subject matter is not new. Broadly conceived, constitutional economics is an important component of a more general revival of the classical approach. It draws substantial inspiration from the encompassing theoretical perspective and the reformist attitude that were characteristic of Adam Smith’s vision. Buchanan’s constitutional political economy can be considered the modern-day counterpart to what Smith called ‘the science of legislation’, an academic enterprise that seeks to bring closer together again the economic, social, political, philosophical and legal perspectives that were once part of the study of ‘moral philosophy’. One might be tempted to characterize constitutional political economy simply – and somewhat narrowly – as ‘the economic analysis of constitutional law’. It cannot be denied that the examination of real-world constitutions using the perspective of modern constitutional political economy is an interesting exercise and may provide a kind of test for the usefulness of this approach. Reference can be made to several interesting case studies.2 However, such a deﬁnitional strategy may tend...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.