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The Law and Economics of Private Prosecutions in Industrial Revolution England

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  • Koyama, Mark

Abstract

Can the market provide law enforcement? This paper addresses this question by examining an historical case-study: the system of private prosecutions that prevailed in England prior to the introduction of the police. Using a model of the market for crime, I examine why this system came under strain during the Industrial Revolution, and how private associations were able to emerge to internalize the externalities that caused the private system to generate too little deterrence. The model and historical evidence suggest that these private order institutions were partially successful in meliorating the problem of crime in a period when Public Choice considerations precluded the introduction of a professional police force.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 40500.

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Date of creation: 08 Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:40500

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Keywords: Economics of Crime; Private Prosecutions; Club Goods; Deterrence; Free- Riding;

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  1. M Koyama, 2011. "Prosecution Associations in Industrial Revolution England: Private Providers of Public Goods?," Centre for Historical Economics and Related Research at York (CHERRY) Discussion Papers, CHERRY, c/o Department of Economics, University of York 11/01, CHERRY, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  2. Leeson, Peter T., 2007. "Better off stateless: Somalia before and after government collapse," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 689-710, December.
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  5. Edward Stringham & Todd Zywicki, 2011. "Rivalry and superior dispatch: an analysis of competing courts in medieval and early modern England," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 147(3), pages 497-524, June.
  6. Allen, Robert C., 2009. "Engels' pause: Technical change, capital accumulation, and inequality in the british industrial revolution," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 418-435, October.
  7. Leeson Peter T. & Williamson Claudia R., 2009. "Anarchy and Development: An Application of the Theory of Second Best," The Law and Development Review, De Gruyter, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 77-96, July.
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  11. Benson, Bruce L, 1994. "Are Public Goods Really Common Pools? Considerations of the Evolution of Policing and Highways in England," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(2), pages 249-71, April.
  12. Koyama, Mark, 2012. "The transformation of labor supply in the pre-industrial world," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 505-523.
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  17. Peter T. Leeson, 2009. "The Laws of Lawlessness," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 471-503, 06.
  18. Clay, Karen, 1997. "Trade without Law: Private-Order Institutions in Mexican California," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 202-31, April.
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  21. Peter T. Leeson, 2007. "An-arrgh-chy: The Law and Economics of Pirate Organization," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 1049-1094, December.
  22. Vries,Jan de, 2008. "The Industrious Revolution," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521719254.
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