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Working Paper Series

Constitutional Rules of Exclusion in Jurisdiction Formation


  • Suzanne Scotchmer, Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley
  • Philippe Jehiel, University College London


  • Goldman School of Public Policy Working Paper (April 2002)


The rules under which jurisdictions (nations, provinces) can deny immigration or expel residents are generally governed by a constitution, but there do not exist either positive or normative analyses to suggest what types of exclusion rules are best. We stylize this problem by suggesting four constitutional rules of admission: free mobility, admission by majority voite, admission by unanimous consent, admission by a demand threshold for public goods. In a simple model we characterize the equilibria that result from these rules, and provide a positive theory for which constitutional rules will be chosen.

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