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An Economic Theory of the Evolution of Governance and the Emergence of the State

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  • Benson, Bruce L

Abstract

Individual's desires to expand wealth in the face of scarcity underlie the evolution of rules and institutions of governance, as individuals attempt to reduce the transactions costs that impede coordination and motivation in an uncertain world. Some wealth-seeking individuals have or develop comparative advantages in violence, however, and behavioral rules and governing institutions may evolve to coordinate joint production of extortion too. The process by which such institutions evolve into a state is discussed. To illustrate the plausibility of this theory, various historical and modern state and non-state governance institutions are shown to be consistent with it. Copyright 1999 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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  • Benson, Bruce L, 1999. "An Economic Theory of the Evolution of Governance and the Emergence of the State," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 12(2), pages 131-160, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:revaec:v:12:y:1999:i:2:p:131-60
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Michel Josselin & Alain Marciano, 2002. "The Making of the French Civil Code: An Economic Interpretation," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 193-203, November.
    2. Peter Leeson, 2007. "Efficient anarchy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 41-53, January.
    3. Peter Boettke & Rosolino Candela, 2014. "Hayek, Leoni, and Law as the Fifth Factor of Production," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 42(2), pages 123-131, June.
    4. Kapas Judit & Czegledi Pal, 2010. "Economic Freedom and Government: A Conceptual Framework," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 16(1), pages 1-26, October.
    5. repec:rfa:bmsjnl:v:3:y:2017:i:2:p:47-60 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Paul R. Zimmerman, 2004. "State executions, deterrence, and the incidence of murder," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 7, pages 163-193, May.
    7. Skarbek, David, 2012. "Prison gangs, norms, and organizations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 96-109.
    8. Judit Kapás & Pál Czeglédi, 2007. "Economic Freedom: Theory First, Empiricism After," ICER Working Papers 10-2007, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    9. Bruce Benson, 1999. "To Arbitrate or To Litigate: That Is the Question," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 91-151, September.
    10. Bruce Benson, 2006. "Contractual nullification of economically-detrimental state-made laws," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 19(2), pages 149-187, June.
    11. Benson Bruce L., 2000. "Jurisdictional Choice in International Trade: Implications for Lex Cybernatoria," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-32, March.
    12. Mehrdad Vahabi, 2016. "A positive theory of the predatory state," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 168(3), pages 153-175, September.

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