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

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  • Herschel I. Grossman

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Herschel I. Grossman, 1997. ""Make Us a King": Anarchy, Predation, and the State," NBER Working Papers 6289, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6289
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Usher, Dan, 1989. "The Dynastic Cycle and the Stationary State," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1031-1044, December.
    4. Yoram Barzel, 2000. "Property rights and the evolution of the state," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 25-51, March.
    5. 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.
    6. 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 1275-1288, December.
    7. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1995. "Anarchy and Its Breakdown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 26-52, February.
    8. Boaz Moselle & Ben Polak, 1997. "A Model of a Predatory State," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1158, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    9. Usher, D, 1987. "Theft as a Paradigm for Departures from Efficiency," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(2), pages 235-252, June.
    10. 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.
    11. Kai Konrad & Stergios Skaperdas, 2012. "The market for protection and the origin of the state," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 50(2), pages 417-443, June.
    12. repec:cep:stitep:/1997/337 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Herschel I. Grossman, 1998. "Producers and Predators," Working Papers 98-6, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    14. 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.
    15. repec:cup:apsrev:v:79:y:1985:i:04:p:943-957_23 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. 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.
    17. Dowd, Kevin, 1997. "Anarchy, Warfare, and Social Order: Comment on Hirshleifer," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 648-651, June.
    18. 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, July.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

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