Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Markets, Morals, and the Law$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jules L. Coleman

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199253609

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199253609.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2020

The foundations of constitutional economics

The foundations of constitutional economics

(p.133) 5 The foundations of constitutional economics
Markets, Morals, and the Law

Jules L. Coleman

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the differences between James Buchanan's ‘constitutional economics’ and traditional efficiency analysis. Because a Pareto improvement makes no one worse off and at least one person better off, one could argue that everyone would consent to making Pareto improvements. Thus, Paretianism can be defended on consensual grounds. In an effort to avoid the pitfalls of the utilitarian defense of Paretianism, lawyer economists have turned to this sort of consent-based defense of efficiency. Buchanan stands this argument on its head. What makes a state of affairs efficient, he claims, is that everyone agrees or consents to it, S is efficient because it is consented to, rather than the other way round. Both lines of argument seek to provide a foundational connection between efficiency and autonomy. In traditional Paretianism, the link is justificatory; in Buchanan's work it is analytic.

Keywords:   constitutional economics, James Buchanan, economic efficiency, consent, constitutionalism, subjectivism, realism

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .