The Constitution and Information Politics
John O. McGinnis
Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law
June 13, 2013
Drake Law Review, Forthcoming
Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 13-22
This symposium essay argues that an important objective of a constitution should be to generate a sound information politics where citizens and leaders alike update on information about past policy to create better future policy. The United States Constitution contains many features friendly to a sound information politics — from federalism to the First Amendment. The essay suggests that such features have helped the United States perform better than its peer industrial democracies. The essay concludes by arguing that the deploying the fruits of the information revolution can further improve information politics. It recommends the legalization and possible subsidization of prediction markets and more policy experimentation through both decentralization and randomization. To help citizens better update on the resulting information, it recommends a variety of other reforms, from relaxing individual contribution limits in campaign contributions to top-two primaries. Such reforms are important because the same technological revolution that can improve information politics will increase the pace of social change and may create new problems that only a smarter politics can address with the requisite speed.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 17
Keywords: Information politics, Information Technology, Immigration, Prediction Markets, Experimentation
JEL Classification: K10, K30
Date posted: June 15, 2013
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