Rational Bandits: Plunder, Public Goods, and the Vikings
AbstractThe 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 InfoArticle provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.
Volume (Year): 117 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3-4 (December)
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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332
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- Powell, Benjamin & Stringham, Edward P., 2008. "Public Choice and the Economic Analysis of Anarchy: A Survey," Working Papers 2008-7, Suffolk University, Department of Economics.
- 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.
- 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.
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