Trading with Bandits
Is it possible to trade with bandits? When government is absent, the superior strength of some agents makes it cheaper for them to violently steal what they desire from weaker agents than to use trade to obtain what they want. Such was the case with middlemen who interacted with producers in late precolonial west central Africa. In the face of this threat, producers employed two mechanisms to make exchange with middlemen possible. On the one hand, they used credit to alter middlemenâ€™s cost-benefit structure of engaging in plunder versus trade. On the other hand, producers demanded tribute from traveling traders as a risk premium. By transforming traveling tradersâ€™ incentive from banditry to peaceful trade and reducing producersâ€™ costs associated with interacting with middlemen, these mechanisms enhanced both partiesâ€™ ability to capture the gains from exchange.
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.:
- Martin C. McGuire & Mancur Olson Jr., 1996. "The Economics of Autocracy and Majority Rule: The Invisible Hand and the Use of Force," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 72-96, March.
- Herschel I. Grossman & Minseong Kim, 2002.
"Predation, Efficiency, and Inequality,"
Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE),
Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 158(3), pages 393-393, September.
- Herschel I. Grossman & Minseong Kim, 1997. "Predation, Efficiency, and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 6301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Greif, Avner, 1989. "Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 857-882, December.
- Skaperdas, Stergios, 1992. "Cooperation, Conflict, and Power in the Absence of Property Rights," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 720-739, September.
- Skaperdas, S., 1991. "Cooperation, Conflict And Power In The Absence Of Property Rights," Papers 90-91-06a, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
- Bush, Winston C. & Mayer, Lawrence S., 1974. "Some implications of anarchy for the distribution of property," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 401-412, August.
- Zerbe, Richard O. & Anderson, C. Leigh, 2001. "Culture And Fairness In The Development Of Institutions In The California Gold Fields," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(01), pages 114-143, March.
- Robert Bates & Avner Greif & Smita Singh, 2002. "Organizing Violence," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 46(5), pages 599-628, October.
- Robert H. Bates & Avner Greif & Amita Singh, 2001. "Organizing Violence," CID Working Papers 71A, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
- Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
- Kranton, Rachel E, 1996. "Reciprocal Exchange: A Self-Sustaining System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 830-851, September.
- Neary, Hugh M, 1997. "Equilibrium Structure in an Economic Model of Conflict," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(3), pages 480-494, July.
- Kjell Hausken, 2004. "Mutual Raiding of Production and the Emergence of Exchange," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(4), pages 572-586, October.
- Skaperdas, Stergios & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 1997. "The Distribution of Income in the Presence of Appropriative Activities," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(253), pages 101-117, February.
- Greif, Avner & Milgrom, Paul & Weingast, Barry R, 1994. "Coordination, Commitment, and Enforcement: The Case of the Merchant Guild," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 745-776, August.
- Clay, Karen, 1997. "Trade without Law: Private-Order Institutions in Mexican California," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 202-231, April. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:50:y:2007:p:303-321. 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: (Journals Division)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.