, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 177-196

Pure eclecticism—The tool kit of the constitutional economist

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Abstract

It is claimed here that the epistemics of constitutional economics has hitherto at best played a minor role but that dwelling on the epistemics might prove useful to understand why the positive branch of constitutional economics is not as far advanced as its normative counterpart. Four possible methods-namely comparative institutional analysis, economic history, conjectural history, and laboratory experiments-are analyzed with regard to their epistemic potential. It is hypothesized that conjectural history promises only little potential while the other three methods can be used to complement each other.