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date: 26 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the economics of constitutional law. Using a novel grand theory of constitutional law that draws upon economic analysis, it shows that constitutional law is not primarily motivated by concerns for efficiency. Rather, it argues that essential constitutional structures and a wide array of doctrines are responsible for advancing the normative goal of raising the stakes of political outcomes, which in turn promotes active political engagement. These constitutional structures include bicameralism, the presidential veto, and the independent judiciary, whereas constitutional doctrines range from standing to gerrymandering by political parties, due process, equal protection, the commerce clause, and agency-deference rules. The chapter also discusses structural constitutionalism, the role of federalism in shaping policy swings, and the problem of rent-seeking legislation.

Keywords: economics, constitutional law, bicameralism, presidential veto, independent judiciary, standing, gerrymandering, due process, equal protection, commerce clause

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