An Economic Theory of the Evolution of Governance and the Emergence of the State
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
Volume (Year): 12 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 (November)
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