PUBLIC CHOICE, CONSTITUTIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY AND LAW AND ECONOMICS
Updated: Mar 16, 2022
The various subdisciplines within the emerging ‘new institutionalism’ in economics all draw special attention to the legal-political constraints within which economic and political agents choose and therefore represent a return of economics to its appropriate legal foundations. By changing the name of his research program to constitutional political economy Buchanan distanced himself from those parts of the public choice literature that remained too close to the traditional welfare economics approach. This chapter draws lessons for law and economics from recent developments in the re-emerging field of constitutional political economy. CPE compares alternative sets of institutional arrangements, in markets and the polity, and their outcomes, using ‘democratic consent’ as an internal standard of comparison. The chapter discusses the methodological foundation of the CPE approach presents Buchanan’s reconstruction of the Coase theorem along subjectivist-contractarian lines and gives an overview of recent contributions to the literature.
Keywords: Constitutional Economics, Constitutional Political Economy, Public Choice, James M. Buchanan, Methodological Foundation