Gov-arrrgh-nance: Jolly Rogers and Dodgy Rulers
AbstractIn this paper, we argue that the effect of governance on the emergence of crimes of different levels of sophistication is highly non-linear. State failure, anarchy and a lack of infrastructure are not conducive to establishing any business, including illicit enterprises. At the bottom of the spectrum, therefore, both legal business and criminal gangs benefit from improved governance. With further improvements in governance criminal activities decline. We find strong and consistent support for this hypothesis using the International Maritime Bureau's dataset on piracy. Piracy is reported by ship-owners, giving a unique insight into crime in badly governed countries which were systematically excluded from previous analyses. We show that profitable forms of piracy flourish where on the one hand there is stability and infrastructure, but on the other hand the state does not have the capacity to intervene and/or bureaucrats can be bribed to turn a blind eye. For minor acts of theft from ships the pattern is quadratic: piracy first rises and then falls as governance improves.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Economics of Security Working Paper Series with number 39.
Length: 37 p.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Piracy; illegal behaviour; law enforcement; legal institutions;
Other versions of this item:
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
- P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
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