Rational choice, Round Robin, and rebellion: An institutional solution to the problems of revolution
Two collective action problems plague successful revolution. On the one hand, would-be revolutionaries confront a "participation problem," whereby no rationally self-interested individual has an incentive to participate in rebellion. On the other hand, individuals face a "first-mover problem" whereby no rationally self-interested individual has an incentive to lead rebellion. This paper argues that 18th-century merchant sailors who confronted these problems devised a novel institution to facilitate maritime revolution and assist them in overthrowing abusive captains. This institution was called a "Round Robin." Round Robins helped overcome both the participation and first-mover problems by aligning the interests of individual sailors desiring mutiny and restructuring the payoffs of leading versus following maritime rebellion.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Chalmers, James A & Shelton, Robert B, 1975. "An Economic Analysis of Riot Participation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 13(3), pages 322-36, September.
- Peter T. Leeson, 2007. "An-arrgh-chy: The Law and Economics of Pirate Organization," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 1049-1094, December.
- Gifford, Adam Jr., 1993. "The economic organization of 17th-through mid 19th-century whaling and shipping," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 137-150, February.
- Timur Kuran, 1989. "Sparks and prairie fires: A theory of unanticipated political revolution," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(1), pages 41-74, April.
- Peter T. Leeson, 2007. "Trading with Bandits," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50, pages 303-321.
- Leeson, Peter T. & Boettke, Peter J., 2009. "Two-tiered entrepreneurship and economic development," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 252-259, September.
- Peter Leeson, 2009. "The calculus of piratical consent: the myth of the myth of social contract," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 139(3), pages 443-459, June.
- Peter Leeson, 2007. "Efficient anarchy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 41-53, January.
- Leeson, Peter T., 2005. "Self-enforcing arrangements in African political economy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 241-244, June.
- J. Gunning, 1972. "An economic approach to riot analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 31-46, September.
- Peter T. Leeson, 2009. "The Laws of Lawlessness," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 471-503, 06.
- Kuran, Timur, 1991. "The East European Revolution of 1989: Is It Surprising That We Were Surprised?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 121-25, May.
- Peter T. Leeson, 2008. "Social Distance and Self-Enforcing Exchange," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 161-188, 01.
- John Geanakoplos, 1992. "Common Knowledge," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 53-82, Fall.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:73:y:2010:i:3:p:297-307. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.