The Economic Efficiency of the Original US Constitution




Williamson, Alexander

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Since it was ratified, the United States Constitution has been the supreme law of the land for the nation. The legal importance of the Constitution is obvious. Despite this fact, few attempts have been made to determine the impact of the US Constitution on economic efficiency. This thesis investigates the economic efficiency of the US Constitution in its original form. That is, the body of the Constitution and the first ten amendments – often referred to as the Bill of Rights. The thesis looks at the Constitution’s impact civil commerce, private markets, and public activity. A few smaller topic that do not fit well into such labels are also included. Economic efficiency is defined primarily in terms of Pareto Optimality. A few sections also discuss efficiency in terms of Kaldor-Hicks efficiency, but it is a secondary metric.



Economics., Welfare economics., United States Constitution.