Constitutional Political Economy

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 77–88 | Cite as

Expressive and Instrumental Voting: The Scylla and Charybdis of Constitutional Political Economy

  • Eric Crampton
  • Andrew Farrant


Brennan and Hamlin [(2002) Constitutional Political Economy 13(4): 299–311] noted that expressive voting still holds at the constitutional phase. The argument, when taken to its necessary conclusion, proves quite problematic for Constitutional Political Economy. Veil mechanisms following Buchanan induce expressive voting at the constitutional phase, removing the normative benefits ascribed to the hypothetical unanimity principle. If the constitution is authored by a small group and the veil is thereby removed, instrumental considerations come to bear and the authors of the constitution establish themselves as Oligarch.

D72 H10 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Crampton
    • 1
  • Andrew Farrant
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.George Mason UniversityUSA

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