Conference: Rational Choice and Constitutional Law

Date: 
Friday, September 24, 2010 - 8:00am - Saturday, September 25, 2010 - 2:00pm
Location: 
University of Chicago Law School, Room V

Rational Choice and Constitutional Law

This conference examines constitutional law from an economic perspective.  Participants will discuss judicial review, voting rules, amendment rules, rights, separation of powers, and other features of the U.S. constitution and foreign constitutions.  One perspective taken will be that of constitutional design: what is the best way for constitutional drafters to design constitutions?  Another question concerns how constitutions can be self-enforcing, given that there are no external agents that can enforce constitutions.  The conference will also address the relationship between constitutional and international law.

Tentative Schedule

Friday, Sept. 24
8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast
9:00 - 10:00 a.m.   Jonathan N. Katz and Matthew Spitzer, What's Age Got To Do With It?  Supreme Court Appointees and the Long Run Location of the Supreme Court Median Justice
       Discussant: Ethan Bueno de Mesquita
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.   Christian List and Adrian Vermeule, Independence and Interdependence: Lessons from the Hive
       Discussant: Aziz Huq
11:00 - 11:15 a.m. Break
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.    Mila Versteeg, The Transnational Origins of Constitutions: An Empirical Investigation
    Discussant:  David Law
12:15 - 1:15 p.m. Lunch
1:15 - 2:15 p.m.    Mark Ramseyer, Do School Cliques Dominate Japanese Bureaucracies? Evidence from Supreme Court Appointments
    Discussant: Tom Miles
2:15 - 3:15 p.m.    Eric Posner, The Roman Constitution: A Political Economy Perspective
     Discussant:
John Ferejohn
3:15 - 3:30 p.m. Break
3:30 - 4:30 p.m.    Rosalind Dixon and Tom Ginsburg, Deciding Not to Decide: Deferral in Constitutional Design
    Discussant
:  Scott Ashworth
4:30 - 5:30 p.m.    John Ferejohn and Pasquale Pasquino, The Countermajoritarian Opportunity
    Discussant: Adrian Vermeule

Saturday, Sept. 25
8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast
9:00 - 10:00 a.m.    Matthew Stephenson, Endogenous Information Acquisition and Institutional Design
     Discussant: Eric Talley
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.    Robert Cooter and Neil S. Siegel, Taxes, Regulation, and Health Care: Part II of Collective Action Federalism
     Discussant: Michael Gilbert
11:00 - 11:15 a.m. Break
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.    Christopher Berry and Jake Gersen, Agency Spending and Political Control of the Bureaucracy
     Discussant: Adam Cox
12:15 - 1:15 p.m.    John Yoo, Rational Treaties and Constitutional Design
     Discussant:  Daniel Abebe

Faculty: 
Eric Posner
Faculty: 
Tom Ginsburg
Faculty: 
Aziz Huq
Faculty: 
Thomas J. Miles
Faculty: 
Daniel Abebe