Prosecution Associations in Industrial Revolution England: Private Providers of Public Goods?
AbstractIn early 19th century England there was no professional police force and most prosecutions were private. This paper examines how associations for the prosecution of felons arose to internalise the positive externalities produced by private prosecutions. Drawing upon new historical evidence, it examines how the internal governance and incentive structures of prosecution associations enabled them to provide public goods. Consistent with Demsetz (1970), prosecution associations were economic clubs that bundled the private good of insurance with the public good of deterrence. Associations used local newspapers to advertise rewards and attract new members. Price discrimination was employed in order to elicit contributions from individuals with di erent security demands. Selective incentives helped overcome to free-rider problems between members.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CHERRY, c/o Department of Economics, University of York in its series Centre for Historical Economics and Related Research at York (CHERRY) Discussion Papers with number 11/01.
Date of creation: May 2011
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public goods ; private prosecutions ; insurance selective incentives;
Other versions of this item:
- Mark Koyama, 2012. "Prosecution Associations in Industrial Revolution England: Private Providers of Public Goods?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 95 - 130.
- N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
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- Koyama, Mark, 2012. "The Law and Economics of Private Prosecutions in Industrial Revolution England," MPRA Paper 40500, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Mark Koyama, 2014. "The law & economics of private prosecutions in industrial revolution England," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(1), pages 277-298, April.
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