During the past two decades, there has been a torrent of research on the political and economic effects of constitutions. For the most part, this work has been undertaken by a handful of academic research circles within economics and political science. However, the work has largely been independent of one another, and the results have generally been published in different academic journals and presented at different academic conferences.
Our conference brought together prominent
from the three most active rational choice research programs in order to take stock of
what is now known about democratic constitutional design. Do the details of
constitutional design matter?
The papers presented at the conference clearly demonstrated that constitutional
details have a variety of subtle effects on public policy decisions, effects that are statistically significant. With
these very interesting results in mind, revisions of the papers were
solicited, an introductory survey written, and a book was assembled
based on extended versions of the papers.