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An asymmetric dynamic struggle between pirates and producers

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  • Alex Coram

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    (Robert Gordon University, Scotland, and The University of Western Australia)

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    Abstract

    The purpose of this paper is to contribute to our understanding of the dynamics of struggles over resources by studying a game between a producer that can guard and buy fortifications and a pirate. It is assumed that the returns from defence and raiding depends on the ratio of the resources spent on each activity and that all produced goods can be stolen. It attempts to characterise the trajectory of the resources and the defence and raiding activities of the pirate and producer. I show, among other things, that the pirate’s strategy is to farm the producer and that the pirate’s raiding activities and resources will decline as the productive capacity of the producer increases. I also show that a flexible guarding strategy may be preferred to fixed fortifications if the producer’s resources are low at any time. JEL Categories: C61, C72, P14, D00.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics in its series UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers with number 2006-07.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:ums:papers:2006-07

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    Keywords: resource struggles; piracy; differential games; optimal control.;

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    1. Skaperdas, Stergios, 1992. "Cooperation, Conflict, and Power in the Absence of Property Rights," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 720-39, September.
    2. Herschel I. Grossman, 1999. "Producers and Predators," NBER Working Papers 6499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Grossman, Herschel I & Kim, Minseong, 1996. " Predation and Accumulation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 333-50, September.
    4. Skaperdas, Stergios & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 1997. "The Distribution of Income in the Presence of Appropriative Activities," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(253), pages 101-17, February.
    5. Kjell Hausken, 2005. "Production and Conflict Models Versus Rent-Seeking Models," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 59-93, April.
    6. 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.
    7. Bush, Winston C. & Mayer, Lawrence S., 1974. "Some implications of anarchy for the distribution of property," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 401-412, August.
    8. Grossman, Herschel I & Kim, Minseong, 1995. "Swords or Plowshares? A Theory of the Security of Claims to Property," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1275-88, December.
    9. A. Muthoo, 2002. "A Model of the Origins of Basic Property Rights," Economics Discussion Papers 546, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    10. Suresh P. Sethi, 1979. "Optimal Pilfering Policies for Dynamic Continuous Thieves," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(6), pages 535-542, June.
    11. Karl Warneryd, 1993. "Anarchy, Uncertainty, And The Emergence Of Property Rights," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 1-14, 03.
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