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Kings and Vikings: on the dynamics of competitive agglomeration

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  • Matthew Baker

    ()

  • Erwin Bulte

    ()

Abstract

This paper studies the Viking age – the roughly 300 year period beginning in 800 AD – from the perspective of the economics of conflict. The Viking age is interesting because throughout the time period, the scale of conflict increased – small scale raiding behaviour eventually evolved into large scale clashes between armies. With this observation in mind, we present a theoretical model describing the incentives both the defending population and the invading population had to agglomerate into larger groups to better defend against attacks, and engage in attacks, respectively. The result is what might be called a theory of competitive agglomeration. We also apply our model in assessing the factors behind the onset of Vikings raids at the end of the 8th century.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10101-009-0071-1
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Economics of Governance.

Volume (Year): 11 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 207-227

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Handle: RePEc:spr:ecogov:v:11:y:2010:i:3:p:207-227

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Related research

Keywords: Conflict; European history; State formation; D74; H56; N40; O12;

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  1. Friedman, David, 1977. "A Theory of the Size and Shape of Nations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 59-77, February.
  2. Baker, Matthew & Bulte, Erwin & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2010. "The origins of governments: from anarchy to hierarchy," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(02), pages 215-242, June.
  3. Michelle R. Garfinkel & Stergios Skaperdas, 2006. "Economics of Conflict: An Overview," Working Papers 050623, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2006.
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  8. Francisco M. Gonzalez, 2005. "Insecure Property and Technological Backwardness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 703-721, 07.
  9. Sandler,Todd & Hartley,Keith, 1995. "The Economics of Defense," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521447287.
  10. John W. Maxwell & Rafael Reuveny, 2004. "Continuing Conflict," Working Papers 2004-27, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  11. Martin C. McGuire & Mancur Olson Jr., 1996. "The Economics of Autocracy and Majority Rule: The Invisible Hand and the Use of Force," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 72-96, March.
  12. Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-21, September.
  13. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 2006. "Conflict, defense spending, and the number of nations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 91-120, January.
  14. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1995. "Anarchy and Its Breakdown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 26-52, February.
  15. Grossman, Herschel I. & Mendoza, Juan, 2003. "Scarcity and appropriative competition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 747-758, November.
  16. Jack Hirshleifer, 1991. "The Paradox Of Power," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(3), pages 177-200, November.
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