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Constitutionalism, Division of Power and Transaction Costs

Abstract

According to many democracytheorists, there is an unavoidabletrade-off between constitutionalism and theneed for political action. This papercriticizes that belief. Rather, it arguesthat a division of power, while sometimesentailing high political transaction costs,can nevertheless be beneficial andthat it is not necessarily the case that adivision of power does entail hightransaction costs. The analysis expands theframework of Buchanan and Tullock (1962).Constitutionalism is thus defended againstone of its main perceived deficiencies: itsbringing about gridlock. This does notalways happen, and when it does, it isoften a good thing.

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Berggren, N., Karlson, N. Constitutionalism, Division of Power and Transaction Costs. Public Choice 117, 99–124 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1026105322993

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Keywords

  • Transaction Cost
  • Public Finance
  • Political Action
  • Good Thing
  • Political Transaction