Toward a Constitutional Theory of Property Rights to Escape the Transitional Gains Trap: A View from The Machiavellians

“Toward a Constitutional Theory of Property Rights to Escape the Transitional Gains Trap: A View from The Machiavellians.” In Marta Podemska-Mikluch, Mikayla Novak, and Richard E. Wagner, eds. Realism, Ideology, and the Convulsions of Democracy. New York: Springer, Forthcoming

22 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2022

See all articles by Rosolino Candela

Rosolino Candela

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Date Written: October 29, 2022

Abstract

Since at least Adam Smith, political economists have inquired into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations. From a public choice perspective, this economic transition from poverty to wealth can be reframed in terms of an escape from the transitional gains trap (Tullock 1975). Understood this way, the question of why the West first escaped from poverty is a question into how the political process gradually transformed from a means to secure privileges to a means to secure private property rights. Such an inquiry implies that any realistic inquiry into economic and political development must entail a study of how and why violence becomes organized throughout society in the foreground of analysis. Taking inspiration from Burnham’s The Machiavellians (1943), I will offer a constitutional theory of property rights grounded in classical liberal theory, one that emerges as a by-product of political exchange and entrepreneurship (Wagner 1966). From a constitutional perspective, I argue that private property rights emerge to internalize the cost of using violence, particularly to minimize rent dissipation from escaping the transitional gains trap. I illustrate this argument through the lens of entangled political economy by explaining the emergence of constitutional democracy in Western Europe as by-product of political exchange.

Keywords: Entangled Political Economy; Property Rights; Transitional Gains Trap; Violence

JEL Classification: B31; B53; L14; N13; P14

Suggested Citation

Candela, Rosolino, Toward a Constitutional Theory of Property Rights to Escape the Transitional Gains Trap: A View from The Machiavellians (October 29, 2022). “Toward a Constitutional Theory of Property Rights to Escape the Transitional Gains Trap: A View from The Machiavellians.” In Marta Podemska-Mikluch, Mikayla Novak, and Richard E. Wagner, eds. Realism, Ideology, and the Convulsions of Democracy. New York: Springer, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4261267 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4261267

Rosolino Candela (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Downloads
50
Abstract Views
669
PlumX Metrics