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"Make Us a King": Anarchy, Predation, and the State

  • Herschel I. Grossman

In order to enforce a collective choice to allocate resource to guarding against predators producers must subject themselves to the state's sovereign power to tax and to spend. But these sovereign powers in hand the state can exploit the producers by taxing and spending for its" own purposes. Using a general equilibrium model in which people can choose to be either" producers or predators, this paper rationalizes the biblical request, Make us a king. analysis shows that, if the technology of predation is sufficiently good better for everyone, including both producers and potential predators even though a king maximizes the consumption of a ruling elite.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6289.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6289.

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Date of creation: Nov 1997
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Publication status: published as Grossman, Herschel I. "'Make Us A King': Anarchy, Predation, And The State," European Journal of Political Economy, 2002, v18(1,Mar), 31-46.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6289
Note: EFG PE ME
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  1. Herschel I. Grossman & Suk Jae Noh, 1990. "A Theory Of Kleptocracy With Probabilistic Survival And Reputation," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(2), pages 157-171, 07.
  2. 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.
  3. repec:cep:stitep:/1997/337 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Dan Usher, 1986. "The Dynastic Cycle and the Stationary State," Working Papers 671, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  5. Usher, D, 1987. "Theft as a Paradigm for Departures from Efficiency," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(2), pages 235-52, June.
  6. Boaz Moselle & Ben Polak, 1997. "A Model of a Predatory State," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 337, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  7. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1995. "Anarchy and Its Breakdown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 26-52, February.
  8. Yoram Barzel, 2000. "Property rights and the evolution of the state," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 25-51, 03.
  9. Dowd, Kevin, 1997. "Anarchy, Warfare, and Social Order: Comment on Hirshleifer," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 648-51, June.
  10. Moselle, Boaz & Polak, Benjamin, 2001. "A Model of a Predatory State," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 1-33, April.
  11. Grossman, Herschel I. & Noh, Suk Jae, 1994. "Proprietary public finance and economic welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 187-204, February.
  12. 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 745-76, August.
  13. Konrad, Kai A. & Skaperdas, Stergios, 1999. "The Market for Protection and the Origin of the State," CEPR Discussion Papers 2173, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. 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-, September.
  15. Boaz Moselle & Ben Polak, 1997. "A Model of a Predatory State," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1158, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  16. Herschel I. Grossman, 1999. "Producers and Predators," NBER Working Papers 6499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Skogh, Goran & Stuart, Charles, 1982. " A Contractarian Theory of Property Rights and Crime," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 84(1), pages 27-40.
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