Macarthur as Constitutional Entrepreneur

8 Pages Posted: 15 May 2013 Last revised: 1 Feb 2014

Date Written: May 1, 2010


Douglas MacArthur's role in the making of the modern Japanese Constitution appears to be a special case in history where a single individual exercised a great deal of authority in shaping the institutions of a nation. This paper examines the extent to which MacArthur's discretion was constrained and how he responded to his constraints. It is demonstrated that it is more useful to consider MacArthur's role as one of an entrepreneur working within a set of constraints than it is to consider it in terms of social engineering.

Keywords: MacArthur, History, Japanese Constitution, Postwar Japan, Constitutional Economics, Institutional Constraints, Entrepreneur

JEL Classification: A12

Suggested Citation

Gurri, Adam, Macarthur as Constitutional Entrepreneur (May 1, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

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