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In the “bargaining democracy” groups form coalitions that are able to grant benefits to themselves through legislation. These benefits may lack popular support. A constitutional hierarchy of conflicting laws is proposed to resolve this democratic problem. In the hierarchy more “rule-oriented” legislation dominate. The hierarchy would create a momentum of the political process towards more rule-oriented legislation and policy debate. The difficulty of defining a rule operationally is overcome by limiting the task of a constitutional court to simply rank conflicting policy actions in terms of criteria for rules.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, volume 56, issue 4, in 2005. DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2004.06.010

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