Constitutional Design Conference
August 25-27, 2003
Stockholm, Sweden

Roger D. Congleton  and  Birgitta Swedenborg
Sponsored by SNS

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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 scholars 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.

<>The result, Democratic Constitutional Design, Analysis and Evidence was published by MIT Press in June 2006. Political Scientists, economists, public policy analysts, and other scholars interested in democratic constitutional design will clearly benefit from having a reasonably complete and accessible overview of the new empirical research available in a single volume.