The economic analysis of constitutions is a recent phenomenon also called “constitutional economics” or “constitutional political economy.” It has broadened the standard research program of economics, which is interested in the analysis of choices within rules, thus assuming that rules are exogenously given and fixed. Constitutional economics broadens this research program by analyzing the choice of rules using the standard method of economics, that is, rational choice.


Scholars have defined constitutionalism as limited government. James Buchanan, one of the founders of constitutional economics, defined constitutions in their most basic sense as “a set of rules which constrain the activities of persons and agents in the pursuits of their own ends and objectives” (Buchanan 1977: 292). Defined as such, one could analyze quite a few rule systems ...

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