The Evolution of Criminal Law and Police
AbstractIncreased standardization of goods was a by-product of the technical innovations triggering the Industrial Revolution. A side effect of standardization was the new abilities it allowed for theft and embezzlement. Two significant modern institutions radically evolved during the 18th to mid 19th centuries to control these costs: criminal law and public police. These institutions strongly interacted with the pace of the Industrial Revolution. Our argument explains this evolution, and helps to explain several historical facts: the role of early police; the fall of the watch system; the removal of possession immunity; the rise and fall of factory colonies; the fall and rise of court cases during the 18th century; and the delay of per capita income in response to technical innovations in the Industrial Revolution.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Washington, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number UWEC-2008-01.
Date of creation: Dec 2007
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-02-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2008-02-16 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-LAW-2008-02-16 (Law & Economics)
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