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A positive theory of the predatory state

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  • Mehrdad Vahabi

    () (University of Paris 8)

Abstract

Abstract While the distinction between public and private goods is essential in developing a normative theory of non-predatory states, the focus of this article is on a positive theory of predatory states. Since the predatory relationship between the state and its subjects depends on the power of the state to grab or to appropriate coercively and the subject’s ability to escape or hide, the boundaries of the state are decided by the nature of the assets that can be taken more or less easily. Accordingly, I will introduce a new distinction between captive and fugitive assets that positively captures the frontiers of a state space. The US railroading in the nineteenth century provides an illustration regarding the explanatory power of an asset-appropriating perspective of the state compared to a public goods approach.

Suggested Citation

  • Mehrdad Vahabi, 2016. "A positive theory of the predatory state," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 168(3), pages 153-175, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:168:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-016-0354-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-016-0354-3
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mehrdad Vahabi, 2017. "A critical survey of the resource curse literature through the appropriability lens," CEPN Working Papers 2017-14, Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord.
    2. Arslantas, Yasin, 2018. "Drivers and constraints of state confiscation of elite property in the Ottoman Empire, 1750-1839," Economic History Working Papers 88096, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    3. Mehrdad Vahabi, 2017. "Coercive state, resisting society, political and economic development in Iran," CEPN Working Papers hal-01583595, HAL.
    4. Francesco Angelini & Guido Candela & Massimiliano Castellani, 2018. "Governance and efficiency with and without Government," Working Paper series 18-18, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    5. repec:kap:pubcho:v:175:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-018-0533-5 is not listed on IDEAS

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