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Working Paper No. 68. Ulysses and the Rent-Seekers: The Benefits and Challenges of Constitutional Constraints on Leviathan

PublicationWorking paper
Egenintresse, Företagandets villkor, Institutionell ekonomi, Konstitution, Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard
Working Paper No. 68.
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Abstract

A constitutionally constrained government may be viewed as an attractive arrangement in that it may limit the rent-seeking behavior by narrowly motivated special interest groups and instead support policies of a Pareto-improving character. However, the introduction of constitutional constraints may themselves turn out to be problematic, since institutional solutions to suboptimal arrangements presuppose that the agents are capable of overcoming problems of the very nature that the solutions are intended to overcome in the first place. This makes it unlikely that general interest promoting constitutional constraints on governments will be successfully adopted.

Kurrild-Klitgaard, P. (2005). Ulysses and the Rent-Seekers: The Benefits and Challenges of Constitutional Constraints on Leviathan. Ratio Working Paper No. 68.

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Working Paper No. 68. Ulysses and the Rent-Seekers: The Benefits and Challenges of Constitutional Constraints on Leviathan
Working paperPublication
Kurrild-Klitgaard, P.
Publication year

2005

Published in

Ratio Working Paper

Abstract

A constitutionally constrained government may be viewed as an attractive arrangement in that it may limit the rent-seeking behavior by narrowly motivated special interest groups and instead support policies of a Pareto-improving character. However, the introduction of constitutional constraints may themselves turn out to be problematic, since institutional solutions to suboptimal arrangements presuppose that the agents are capable of overcoming problems of the very nature that the solutions are intended to overcome in the first place. This makes it unlikely that general interest promoting constitutional constraints on governments will be successfully adopted.

Working Paper No. 68. Ulysses and the Rent-Seekers: The Benefits and Challenges of Constitutional Constraints on Leviathan
Working paperPublication
Kurrild-Klitgaard, P.
Publication year

2005

Published in

Ratio Working Paper

Abstract

A constitutionally constrained government may be viewed as an attractive arrangement in that it may limit the rent-seeking behavior by narrowly motivated special interest groups and instead support policies of a Pareto-improving character. However, the introduction of constitutional constraints may themselves turn out to be problematic, since institutional solutions to suboptimal arrangements presuppose that the agents are capable of overcoming problems of the very nature that the solutions are intended to overcome in the first place. This makes it unlikely that general interest promoting constitutional constraints on governments will be successfully adopted.

Ratio Working Paper No. 349: Industrial conflict in essential services in a new era – Swedish rules in a comparative perspective
Working paperPublication
Karlson, N.
Publication year

2021

Published in

Ratio Working Paper

Abstract

This paper examines whether the Swedish regulatory system of dealing with industrial conflicts that affect essential services need an update or reform. Are the existing rules effective in a world where many essential services are upheld by many interdependent agents in complex systems where every single node becomes critical for the functioning of the system, and where the essential service activities could be either private or public? A comparative study is conducted with the corresponding regulatory systems of the United Kingdom, Germany, and Denmark.
The conclusion is that Sweden is a special case. The Swedish protection against and readiness in dealing with societally harmful industrial conflicts in essential services is weaker than in the countries of comparison. Just as in relation to other threats to essential services, it is not sustainable to claim that just because such a threat is not currently present, there would be no need for preparedness.
There are many alternative ways to handle this. Desirable methods should both prevent harmful conflicts from erupting and end conflicts that have grown harmful to society at a later stage. The labour market organisations should have a mutual interest in reforming the rules.

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