Pirational choice: The economics of infamous pirate practices
Abstract This paper investigates the economics of infamous pirate practices. Two closely related economic theories--the theory of signaling and the theory of reputation building--explain these practices. First, I examine the pirate flag, "Jolly Roger," which pirates used to signal their identity as unconstrained outlaws, enabling them to take prizes without costly conflict. Second, I consider how pirates combined heinous torture, public displays of "madness," and published advertisement of their fiendishness to establish a reputation that prevented costly captive behaviors. Pirates' infamous practices reduced their criminal enterprise's costs and increased its revenues, enhancing the profitability of life "on the account."
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.:
- Stergios Skaperdas, 2001. "The political economy of organized crime: providing protection when the state does not," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 173-202, November.
- David Skarbek, 2010. "Putting the "Con" into Constitutions: The Economics of Prison Gangs," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(2), pages 183-211.
- Gary S. Becker, 1968.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
- Dick, Andrew R., 1995. "When does organized crime pay? A transaction cost analysis," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 25-45, January.
- 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.
- Fraas, Arthur G & Greer, Douglas F, 1977. "Market Structure and Price Collusion: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 21-44, September.
- Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1997.
"Predation, reputation , and entry deterrence,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
1460, David K. Levine.
- Garoupa, Nuno, 2000.
"The Economics of Organized Crime and Optimal Law Enforcement,"
Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(2), pages 278-88, April.
- Nuno Garoupa, 1997. "The economics of organized crime and optimal law enforcement," Economics Working Papers 246, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Dec 1997.
- Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982.
"Reputation and imperfect information,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
- Kreps, David M. & Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John & Wilson, Robert, 1982.
"Rational cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoners' dilemma,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 245-252, August.
- David Kreps & Paul Milgrom & John Roberts & Bob Wilson, 2010. "Rational Cooperation in the Finitely Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma," Levine's Working Paper Archive 239, David K. Levine.
- Varese, Federico, 2001. "The Russian Mafia: Private Protection in a New Market Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198297369, December.
- Juin-Jen Chang & Huei-Chung Lu & Mingshen Chen, 2005. "Organized Crime or Individual Crime? Endogenous Size of a Criminal Organization and the Optimal Law Enforcement," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 661-675, July.
- Leeson, Peter T., 2010. "Rational choice, Round Robin, and rebellion: An institutional solution to the problems of revolution," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 297-307, March.
- 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.
- Steven D. Levitt & Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh, 1998.
"An Economic Analysis of a Drug-Selling Gang's Finances,"
NBER Working Papers
6592, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Steven D. Levitt & Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh, 2000. "An Economic Analysis of a Drug-Selling Gang's Finances," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 755-789.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:76:y:2010:i:3:p:497-510. 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: (Shamier, Wendy)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.