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Mahatma Gandhi and the Prisoner’s Dilemma: Strategic Civil Disobedience and Great Britain’s Great Loss of Empire in India

  • Siddiky, Chowdhury Irad Ahmed

This paper examines the relationship between statutory monopoly and collective action as a multi-person assurance game culminating in an end to British Empire in India. In a simple theoretical model, it is demonstrated whether or not a collective good enjoys (or is perceived to enjoy) pure jointness of production and why the evolutionary stable strategy of non-violence was supposed to work on the principle that the coordinated reaction of a ethnically differentiated religious crowd to a conflict between two parties (of colonizer and colonized) over confiscatory salt taxation would significantly affect its course. Following Mancur Olson (1965) and Dennis Chong (1991), a model of strategic civil disobedience is created which is used to demonstrate how collective action can be used to produce an all-or-nothing public good to achieve economic and political independence.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 147.

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Date of creation: 02 May 2005
Date of revision: 05 Sep 2005
Publication status: Published in Public Choice Society Annual Conference, Papers and Proceedings 2006 Public Choice Society Annual Conference, Papers and Proceedings 2006.Public(2006): pp. 15-50
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:147
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  1. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 2000. "Investor protection and corporate governance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 3-27.
  2. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  3. Akerlof, George A & Dickens, William T, 1982. "The Economic Consequences of Cognitive Dissonance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 307-19, June.
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  5. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1997. "A Theory of Misgovernance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1289-1332, November.
  7. Kenneth L. Sokoloff & Stanley L. Engerman, 2000. "Institutions, Factor Endowments, and Paths of Development in the New World," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 217-232, Summer.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 1998. "Learning from the Behavior of Others: Conformity, Fads, and Informational Cascades," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 151-170, Summer.
  10. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer, 2010. "History Institutions and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India," Working Papers id:2811, eSocialSciences.
  11. Matthew Haag & Roger Lagunoff, 2006. "Social Norms, Local Interaction, And Neighborhood Planning ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(1), pages 265-296, 02.
  12. Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "A Memory-Based Model Of Bounded Rationality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 735-774, August.
  13. Banerjee, A.V., 1997. "A Theory of Misgovernance," Working papers 97-4, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. Acemoglu, Daron, 2003. "Why not a political Coase theorem? Social conflict, commitment, and politics," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 620-652, December.
  15. James A. Robinson & Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Political Losers as a Barrier to Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 126-130, May.
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