Constitutional Monarchy as Power Sharing

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In the transition to democracy some autocracies transformed to republics while others evolved to constitutional monarchies. The paper inquires how constitutional monarchy is established. It models a hereditary king and a liberal challenger who coexist over a succession of periods and fight for power which brings office rents and the right to decide one’s preferred policy. The outcome of the confrontation is uncertain and may vary from period to period. If the king wins, he establishes absolute monarchy, but if the liberal wins he establishes a republic. Instead of fighting they may agree on a constitutional monarchy and share office rents and policy making responsibilities. Whether constitutional monarchy is agreed depends on the marginal utilities from rents and policy preferences of the two actors, the sizes of the benefits from rents and policy, the rates by which they discount the future, and the probabilities of winning office. The contemporary European constitutional monarch as a ceremonial head of state who reigns but does not govern arises as a special case of the general model.
Original languageEnglish
JournalConstitutional Political Economy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 May 2021
EventEuropean Public Choice Conference - Lille, France
Duration: 21 Apr 202122 Apr 2021


  • Constitutional monarchy
  • European monarchies
  • republic
  • power sharing
  • constitutional exchange
  • king-and-council template


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