Skip Navigation

Scholars Day 2006, Wednesday, April 12

The Foxes and the Henhouse

To prevent politicians from taking unwanted actions, such as restricting freedom of speech or limiting procedural rights for those accused of crimes, society may wish to establish constitutional punishments for politicians who take such actions. However, this may give rise to an adverse selection problem, in which increasing the punishment leaves only exceptionally power-hungry politicians willing to risk running for office. Moderate politicians self-select out of the candidate pool because they are daunted by the fear of being punished. It is easy to produce an example in which, due to this selection effect, an increase in the punishment increases the expected amount of unconstitutional actions.

Presenter: Thomas Cone (Faculty)
Topic: Economics
Location: 123 Hartwell
Time: 9:50 am (Session I)