Economic rights can be instantiated in a variety of ways. This article investigates the problem associated with making economic rights into policy through one source: the political policymaker. By considering the policymaker’s decision problem, we can identify particular decision flaws and possible corrective measures that might prompt economic rights instantiation through “enlightened self-interest.” A complementary approach involves constitutionalizing economic rights as directive principles and enforceable law, which could work somewhat independently of the policymaker’s preferences and/or beliefs. The final part of the article examines a sample of actual constitutions to determine whether government effort toward fulfilling economic rights is related with constitutionalization. The evidence considered here suggests a positive relationship: countries with better economic rights provisions in their constitutions demonstrate greater economic rights effort.


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pp. 368-393
Launched on MUSE
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