Direct Democracy: Designing a Living Constitution

Zurich IEER Working Paper No. 167

51 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2003

See all articles by Bruno S. Frey

Bruno S. Frey

CREMA; University of Basel

Alois Stutzer

University of Basel - Faculty of Business and Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: September 17, 2003

Abstract

A crucial aspect of constitutional design is the provision of rules on how a constitution is to be amended. If procedures for constitutional amendment are very restrictive, changes will take place outside the constitution. These changes are likely to be against the citizens' interests and their ability to influence the political process. We argue that the development of the constitution must be based on the rule of law. We propose direct democratic rights that allow citizens to participate in the amendment process. The direct democratic process of institutional change is theoretically and empirically analyzed. A number of counter arguments and issues for a gradual introduction are discussed.

Keywords: collective decision-making, constitutional design, constitutional economics, direct democracy

JEL Classification: D72, H1, H7

Suggested Citation

Frey, Bruno S. and Stutzer, Alois, Direct Democracy: Designing a Living Constitution (September 17, 2003). Zurich IEER Working Paper No. 167. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=452081 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.452081

Bruno S. Frey (Contact Author)

CREMA ( email )

Südstrasse 11
Zurich, CH 8008
Switzerland
+41 44 380 00 78 (Phone)

University of Basel ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
Basel, 4002
Switzerland

Alois Stutzer

University of Basel - Faculty of Business and Economics ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
4002 Basel
Switzerland
0041 61 267 3361 (Phone)
0041 61 267 3340 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wwz.unibas.ch/stutzer/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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