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Cartels in the Kautiliya Arthasastra

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Author Info

  • Vikas Kumar

    ()
    (Azim Premji University, PES School of Engineering, Bangalore, India)

Abstract

This paper examines the legal-economic dimension of collusive manipulation of prices from the perspective of the Kautiliya Arthasastra, an ancient Indian treatise on law and statecraft, which is among the oldest sources of information about cartels. It identifies cartels in the treatise, shows that cartels were treated more severely than individuals who manipulated prices, assesses the efficacy of penalties from the perspective of deterrence, and discusses the evolution of relevant laws. The economic analysis presented in the paper throws new light on the controversy surrounding the internal consistency of the Arthasastra. The paper also highlights the need to take note of the moral-legal environment within which pre-modern markets operated before studying them with the help of models developed for modern markets.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies in its journal Czech Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 6 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 59-79

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Handle: RePEc:fau:aucocz:au2012_059

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Related research

Keywords: Arthasastra; collusion; Dharmasastra; economic history; indology; just price; trade;

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References

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  1. Vikas Kumar, 2008. "A Critical review of economic analyses of religion," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2008-023, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
  2. Brams, Steven J., 2012. "Game Theory and the Humanities: Bridging Two Worlds," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262518252, December.
  3. Miller, Geoffrey P, 1993. "Ritual and Regulation: A Legal-Economic Interpretation of Selected Biblical Texts," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 477-501, June.
  4. Vikas Kumar, 2012. "Cartels in the Kautiliya Arthasastra," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 6(1), pages 59-79, March.
  5. Miller, Geoffrey P, 1993. "Contracts of Genesis," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 15-45, January.
  6. Robert B. Ekelund Jr. & Robert F. Hebert & Robert D. Tollison, 2008. "The Marketplace of Christianity," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262550717, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Vikas Kumar, 2012. "Cartels in the Kautiliya Arthasastra," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 6(1), pages 59-79, March.

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