The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Constitutions, Economic Approach to

  • Dennis C. Mueller
Reference work entry


The economic approach to constitutions applies the methodology of economics to the study of constitutions. This entry reviews the normative literature on constitutions, which assumes a two-stage collective decision process, and the positive literature that examines the decisions made by constitutional conventions and their economic consequences.


Beard, C Bentham, J Buchanan, J Budget deficits Collective choice Constitutionalism normative vs positive; Corruption First amendment Harsanyi, J Landes, W Negative externalities Party systems Philadelphia convention Posner, R Rawls, J Rent seeking Social contract theory Social welfare function Tullock, G 

JEL Classification

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis C. Mueller
    • 1
  1. 1.