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The Law and Economics of Private Prosecutions in Industrial Revolution England

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  • Koyama, Mark

Abstract

Can the market provide law enforcement? This paper addresses this question by examining an historical case-study: the system of private prosecutions that prevailed in England prior to the introduction of the police. Using a model of the market for crime, I examine why this system came under strain during the Industrial Revolution, and how private associations were able to emerge to internalize the externalities that caused the private system to generate too little deterrence. The model and historical evidence suggest that these private order institutions were partially successful in meliorating the problem of crime in a period when Public Choice considerations precluded the introduction of a professional police force.

Suggested Citation

  • Koyama, Mark, 2012. "The Law and Economics of Private Prosecutions in Industrial Revolution England," MPRA Paper 40500, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:40500
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/40500/1/MPRA_paper_40500.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Leeson, 2013. "Gypsy law," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 155(3), pages 273-292, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economics of Crime; Private Prosecutions; Club Goods; Deterrence; Free- Riding;

    JEL classification:

    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • K00 - Law and Economics - - General - - - General (including Data Sources and Description)
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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