Constitutional Political Economy

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 21–47 | Cite as

Constitutional democracy and the theory of agency

  • Larry J. Merville
  • Dale K. Osborne


A unanimously adopted democratic constitution is a contract between the people as principal and the government as agent. However, none of the incentive devices employed in private principal-agent contracting assure enforcement of a constitution. Under majority voting, candidates for the job of agent cannot win the job without promising tobreak the contract, and the agent cannot be re-elected unless he keeps that promise.


Economic Theory Majority Vote Democratic Constitution Constitutional Democracy Incentive Device 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© George Mason University 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larry J. Merville
    • 1
  • Dale K. Osborne
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Finance, School of ManagementThe University of Texas at DallasRichardsonUSA

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