Does Constitutional Entrenchment Matter for Economic Freedom?

Contemporary Economic Policy (Forthcoming)

54 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2020 Last revised: 2 Mar 2021

See all articles by Justin T Callais

Justin T Callais

Texas Tech University, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Students

Andrew T. Young

Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business

Date Written: March 2021

Abstract

A growing number of studies explore the determinants of economic freedom. Very few of them consider constitutional design. We study entrenchment, i.e., the extent to which constitutions are more costly to change than ordinary policies and institutions. We utilize 1970-2017 data and study episodes where countries adopted meaningfully more entrenched constitutions. Using matching methods, we construct plausible counterfactuals against which to compare their post-treatment changes in economic freedom. We report no significant effects on overall freedom. There is some evidence that entrenchment leads to smaller government size, more regulation, and weaker property rights. However, none of these results are robust.

Keywords: constitutions; entrenchment; constitutional rigidity; political economy; institution; economic freedom

JEL Classification: P00, P16, P48

Suggested Citation

Callais, Justin and Young, Andrew T., Does Constitutional Entrenchment Matter for Economic Freedom? (March 2021). Contemporary Economic Policy (Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3663374 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3663374

Justin Callais (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Students ( email )

Box 42132
Lubbock, TX 79409-2132
United States

Andrew T. Young

Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business ( email )

Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

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