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Rational Bandits: Plunder, Public Goods, and the Vikings

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  • Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter
  • Svendsen, Gert Tinggaard

Abstract

The paper applies and extends insights from Mancur Olson's study of state making to the Vikings. In a world of roving bandits, a sub-optimal provision of public goods exists, most notably of security. Roving banditry leads to over-plundering and zero profits for the plunderers, which makes stationary banditry profitable. The most efficient bandits monopolize violence, begin to tax and provide some amounts of public goods in order to stimulate economic growth. The analysis demonstrates how the Vikings' activities and settlements are consistent with such an explanation, with the dynamics of the process being reflected in the variation in the number of raids and the amount of wealth extracted. Copyright 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 117 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3-4 (December)
Pages: 255-72

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:117:y:2003:i:3-4:p:255-72

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. New paper on the political economy of monarchy
    by Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard in Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard on 2014-04-23 14:00:00
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Urs Steiner Brandt & Gert Tinggaard Svendsen, 2003. "Bureaucratic Rent-Seeking in the European Union," Working Papers 46/03, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Environmental and Business Economics.
  3. Edgardo Barandiarán, 2003. "Protecting Property from Stationary Bandits," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 40(121), pages 626-632.
  4. Mehrdad Vahabi, 2011. "Appropriation, violent enforcement, and transaction costs: a critical survey," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 147(1), pages 227-253, April.
  5. Justesen, Mogens K. & Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter, 2007. "The constitution of economic growth: Testing the prosperity effects of a Madisonian model on a panel of countries 1980‐2000," MPRA Paper 36063, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard, 2012. "Modeling constitutional choice: reflections on The Calculus of Consent 50 years on," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 152(3), pages 407-413, September.
  7. Poulsen, Odile & Svendsen, Gert Tinggaard, 2005. "Love Thy Neighbor: Bonding versus Bridging Trust," Working Papers 05-7, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.

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