The distribution of income in a despotic society
A distribution of income between rulers and subjects can be derived as an equilibrium of violence, rather than from considerations of marginal products of owned factors of production. Society is organized in ranks, and the occupants of each rank are provided with incomes just sufficient that obedience is preferable to rebellion. To incorporate such considerations into a model, it is necessary to recognize phenomena that are normally excluded from economic analysis: combat, the mortality rate (from natural causes and from violence) as a component of the utility function, and a rudimentary technology of control. Copyright Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1987
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