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Constitutional verbosity and social trust

Abstract

A common argument in the trust literature is that high-trust cultures allow efficient commercial contracts to be shorter, covering fewer contingencies. We take this idea to the topic of social contracts. Specifically, we ask whether social trust affects the length and detail of constitutions. Cross-country estimates suggest that national trust levels are indeed robustly and negatively associated with the length of countries’ constitutions.

Christian Bjørnskov e  Stefan Voigt

 

Constitutional design and economic performance

Abstract

This paper is motivated by the belief that some cultural traits favor economic performance more than others. One trait examined is the ease with which individuals in a community drift away from the spirit of the law for their own benefit; this, it is argued, generates verbose legislation and high-transaction-cost institutions with deleterious effects on economic performance. An empirical comparison between the number of articles in a country's constitution, as a proxy for length and lack of simplicity, and economic performance as measured by GDP per capita finds that no country with a high GDP per capita has a long constitution or, restated, that long constitutions are invariably associated with low levels of GDP per capita.

Alvaro A. Montenegro

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2 comentários

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De Anónimo a 26.08.2014 às 17:24

Hahahahaha... pois. Porque será?

Maria Rebelo
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De Vigmar a 05.10.2014 às 16:10

É o confirmar daquilo que há 2 mil anos Tácito dissera: "Quantas mais as leis, mais corrupto o estado".

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