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Gov-aargh-nance - "even criminals need law and order"

  • Olaf J. de Groot

    ()

  • Matthew D. Rablen

    ()

  • Anja Shortland

    ()

We present a theoretical model postulating that the relationship between crime and governance is "hump-shaped" rather than linearly decreasing. State failure, anarchy and a lack of infrastructure are not conducive for the establishment of any business. This includes illegal businesses, as criminals need protection and markets to convert loot into consumables. At the bottom end of the spectrum, therefore, both legal business and criminal gangs benefit from improved governance, especially when this is delivered informally. With significant improvements in formal governance criminal activities decline. We use data from the International Maritime Bureau to create a new dataset on piracy and find strong and consistent support for this non-linear relationship. The occurrence, persistence and intensity of small-scale maritime crime are well approximated by a quadratic relationship with governance quality. Organised crime benefits from corrupt yet effective bureaucrats, and informally governed areas within countries.

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File URL: http://www.brunel.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/342760/CEDI_11-01.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University in its series CEDI Discussion Paper Series with number 11-01.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:edb:cedidp:11-01
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  1. Raymond Fisman & Shang-Jin Wei, 2007. "The Smuggling of Art, and the Art of Smuggling: Uncovering the Illicit Trade in Cultural Property and Antiques," NBER Working Papers 13446, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Anja Shortland & Marc Vothknecht, 2010. "Combating "Maritime Terrorism" off the Coast of Somalia," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1079, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Yoshiaki Azuma & Herschel I. Grossman, 2002. "A Theory of the Informal Sector," Working Papers 2002-07, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  4. Leeson, Peter T., 2007. "Better off stateless: Somalia before and after government collapse," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 689-710, December.
  5. Olaf J. de Groot & Matthew D. Rablen & Anja Shortland, 2011. "Gov-aargh-nance: "Even Criminals Need Law and Order"," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 46, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  6. Oriana Bandiera, 2003. "Land Reform, the Market for Protection, and the Origins of the Sicilian Mafia: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 218-244, April.
  7. Peter T. Leeson, 2009. "The Laws of Lawlessness," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 471-503, 06.
  8. Sarah Percy & Anja Shortland, 2010. "The Business of Piracy in Somalia," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1033, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  9. Grossman, Herschel I & Kim, Minseong, 1995. "Swords or Plowshares? A Theory of the Security of Claims to Property," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1275-88, December.
  10. Soares, Rodrigo R, 2004. "Crime Reporting as a Measure of Institutional Development," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(4), pages 851-71, July.
  11. Avinash Dixit, 2003. "On Modes of Economic Governance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(2), pages 449-481, March.
  12. Friedman, Eric & Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 2000. "Dodging the grabbing hand: the determinants of unofficial activity in 69 countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 459-493, June.
  13. Leeson Peter T. & Williamson Claudia R., 2009. "Anarchy and Development: An Application of the Theory of Second Best," The Law and Development Review, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 77-96, July.
  14. Helge Berger & Volker Nitsch, 2008. "Gotcha! A Profile of Smuggling in International Trade," DEGIT Conference Papers c013_026, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
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