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Self-Enforcing Arrangements and Heterogeneous Groups

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  • Peter T. Leeson

Abstract

A conventional wisdom in the literature contends that without a system of formal enforcement, heterogeneous groups are unable to peacefully interact for mutual benefit and are prone to eruptions of violent conflict. This article maintains that the amount of such conflict has been dramatically overstated and the occurrence of peaceful interaction dramatically understated. The common view reverses the empirical reality of the world. Historical evidence indicates that where formal institutions are absent, heterogeneous individuals signal credibility to one another by engaging in shared customs and practices, enabling peaceful intergroup exchange. This evidence challenges prevailing beliefs and suggests that peaceful cooperation characterizes most heterogeneous group interaction. Copyright 2006 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal American Journal of Economics and Sociology.

Volume (Year): 65 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 891-907

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ajecsc:v:65:y:2006:i:4:p:891-907

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Cited by:
  1. Edward Stringham & Peter Boettke, 2006. "The failings of legal centralism for helping stock markets in transition," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2006(1), pages 22-34.
  2. Benjamin Powell & Edward Stringham, 2009. "Public choice and the economic analysis of anarchy: a survey," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 503-538, September.
  3. Peter Leeson, 2007. "Efficient anarchy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 41-53, January.
  4. Leeson, Peter T. & Boettke, Peter J., 2009. "Two-tiered entrepreneurship and economic development," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 252-259, September.
  5. Stringham, Edward Peter & Zywicki, Todd J., 2011. "Hayekian anarchism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 290-301, May.
  6. Tereza Šímová & Josef Šíma, 2012. "In Search Of Empirical Content – The Austrian Way To Go Beyond Pure Theory," Journal of Information Systems & Operations Management, Romanian-American University, vol. 7(1), pages 50-59, March.

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