Ratio Working Papers
Ulysses and the Rent-Seekers: The Benefits and Challenges of Constitutional Constraints on Leviathan
Abstract: . A constitutionally constrained government may be viewed
as an attractive arrangement in that it may limit the rent-seeking behavior
by narrowly motivated special interest groups and instead support policies
of a Pareto-improving character. However, the introduction of
constitutional constraints may themselves turn out to be problematic, since
institutional solutions to suboptimal arrangements presuppose that the
agents are capable of overcoming problems of the very nature that the
solutions are intended to overcome in the first place. This makes it
unlikely that general interest promoting constitutional constraints on
governments will be successfully adopted.
Keywords: rent-seeking; constitutions; institutions; self-interest; Prisoners' Dilemma; constraints; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: D72; (follow links to similar papers)
27 pages, April 6, 2005
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