Positive Economic Analysis of the Constitutions - Case of Formation of the First Constitution of Pakistan
Constitutions serve as the foundations of the political, social and economic systems of a country. Constitutions are studied under various disciplines e.g. political science, law, sociology, constitutional history and economics. Our book researches the first constitution of Pakistan using an Economi...
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|Constitutions serve as the foundations of the political, social and economic systems of a country. Constitutions are studied under various disciplines e.g. political science, law, sociology, constitutional history and economics. Our book researches the first constitution of Pakistan using an Economic Approach. Pakistan is a relatively small, comparatively recent and much overly populated country in the South-East Asia. It has shown volatility and instability to the extent of becoming a Failed State. Since the author also belongs to this area, the constitutional choices made in this country are chosen for this research.
A constitution is a set of rules chosen by a group of people together. This draft is a result of individual choices aggregated to collectivity, by using different aggregation mechanisms and procedures. This collective decision-making should be reducible to individual decision-making and a single collective choice should be explicable on the basis of several individual choices. Regardless of the mode through which constitution-makers are elected/selected to participate in constitution formation, they are expected by their constituencies or the executive to formulate an optimal constitution. But usually an ideal constitution is not achieved due to many reasons. One of the reasons can be that the people creating the constitution may not always be acting in altruistic ways and may decide what is better for them instead of what is better for others.
The basic assumption of our model is that an individual acts in his own self-interest and not in the interest of others. He is considered a rational self-interested decision-maker who chooses an option that maximises his own utility within given preferences and given constraints.
If constitution is a draft of decisions affected by rational calculations of self-interested individuals then one should be able to predict the constitutional choices on the basis of preferences and interests of these members. One general hypothesis can be that when constitution is being formed the constitution-maker probes every decision with a keen eye at two levels: first he looks at the rule for his personal interests. If he is unable to pinpoint the effects of the decision on his exact present position or his future position, then either he becomes indifferent or is ready to bargain his vote with the people who feel strongly about that specific rule.
If this is the case (as mentioned above) then their voting behaviour will reflect these thought processes and their interests. We chose to analyse six constitutional rules and developed hypotheses accordingly. Afterwards four other rules were also discussed because of their importance for the society and the constitutional makers. We used the constitutional choices of system of government, form of government, amendment rules, and human rights as dependent variables and the personal traits of members as independent variables. We find that in case of structure of government the ethnic majorities, linguistic majorities, political and religious majorities favored more the presidential system. While the political and religious minorities as expected favored the parliamentary system. In case of federalism we found out that as expected the older age group members, landowners and foreign educated members favored more the unitary system. Lastly for human rights, we found that that majority (ethnic, linguistic, political and religious) will try to curtail human rights for others. Similarly we assumed that minorities will opt for broader human rights which were corroborated by results in case of political and religious minorities but were not supported by empirical analysis in case of ethnic minority and linguistic minority.