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Essentials of Fiscal Sociology

Conception of an Encyclopedia


Edited By Jürgen G. Backhaus

The issue whether fiscal sociology is ripe for an encyclopedia is the hidden agenda of this project. The authors are international experts from the old and the new world, from Italy to Estonia, the Netherlands to Russia, and of course, the United States. The essays cover both, the history of fiscal sociology and recent and future issues, such as the making of the Estonian constitution, which emphasizes fiscal austerity, and the emerging European constitution.


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The Making Of The Estonian Fiscal Constitution: Institutional Interests Versus Historical Constraints Ringa Raudla


Abstract This paper analyzes the making of the constitutional provisions pertaining to budgeting in the Esto- nian Constitutional Assembly (1991-1992). The Estonian case is used to test the conjectures derived from the existing literature on constitutional political economy. The case of Estonia indicates that although institutional self-interest of the framers played an important role in drafting the consti- tutional budget process provisions, there were also notable exceptions, represented by proposals of institutional self-binding by members of the Assembly. The case study also demonstrates the significance of the Estonian inter-war constitutions in shaping the fiscal provisions in the 1992 Con- stitution. 1. Introduction Constitutional political economy is a branch of political economy that examines how constitutional rules are chosen and what their impacts are1. Though initially constitutional political economy was primarily a ‘normative endeavour inter- ested in legitimising the state and its actions in terms of fairness, justice, or effi- ciency’, in which the constitution was viewed as a social contract, then by now, the research program has clearly expanded and includes an increasing number of works of positive analysis2. Although the branch of positive constitutional political economy that is concerned with constitutions as explananda (focusing on factors that shape the adoption of a constitution) is still in its early stages of development, it has received increasing attention (owing to constitution-making in the European Union, among other factors) in recent years3. Of particular inter- 1 Buchanan, J. M. The Domain of Constitutional Economics. Constitutional Political Economy, 1, 1, (1990).Buchanan, J....

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