IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/65574.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The economics of the limited access order

Author

Listed:
  • van Besouw, Bram
  • Ansink, Erik
  • van Bavel, Bas

Abstract

Violence and coercion are key to understanding economic and social interactions in any society. This premise was used by North et al. (2009) to distinguish three `patterns of social organization' that societies have used to solve the problem of violence. We model one of these, the `limited access order', that is still dominant today. This order is characterized by an elite coalition that uses coercion to extract economic rents, while restricting violence and containing bandits. Since violence is key, we choose to apply insights from the economic literature on conflict and appropriation. Our model puts structure on the main elements of the limited access order. It allows us to assess some of its characteristics, by identifying conditions under which a sizeable elite emerges that is capable of limiting the activities of bandits and thereby provides order and stability. Our results show large variations in elite size, appropriation, production levels, and welfare across limited access societies due to only minor variations in exogenous model parameters, such as productivity, the cost of conflict, and the decisiveness of conflict. A striking result is that, within the limited access order, unproductive societies are faced with a high tax rate and a large elite, while productive societies are faced with a low tax rate and a small elite. The difference in additional productivity between these societies is offset by increased appropriation by bandits in absence of a strong elite, resulting in welfare being maximized for moderate levels of productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • van Besouw, Bram & Ansink, Erik & van Bavel, Bas, 2015. "The economics of the limited access order," MPRA Paper 65574, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:65574
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/65574/1/MPRA_paper_65574.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/71708/1/MPRA_paper_71708.pdf
    File Function: revised version
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Martin C. McGuire & Mancur Olson, 1998. "The Economics of Autocracy and Majority Rule: The Invisible Hand and the Use of Force," International Economic Association Series, in: Silvio Borner & Martin Paldam (ed.), The Political Dimension of Economic Growth, chapter 3, pages 38-73, Palgrave Macmillan.
    2. Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2006. "Institutions and the Resource Curse," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 1-20, January.
    3. Herschel I. Grossman, 2001. "The Creation of Effective Property Rights," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 347-352, May.
    4. Garfinkel, Michelle R., 2004. "Stable alliance formation in distributional conflict," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 829-852, November.
    5. Joan Esteban, 2003. "Olson VS. Coase: Coalitional Worth in Conflict," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 55(4), pages 339-357, December.
    6. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A., 2005. "Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 385-472, Elsevier.
    7. Usher, Dan, 1989. "The Dynastic Cycle and the Stationary State," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1031-1044, December.
    8. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2013. "Pre‐Colonial Ethnic Institutions and Contemporary African Development," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(1), pages 113-152, January.
    9. Keith Hartley & Todd Sandler (ed.), 2007. "Handbook of Defense Economics," Handbook of Defense Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 2, number 1.
    10. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2008. "Persistence of Power, Elites, and Institutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 267-293, March.
    11. Baker, Matthew & Bulte, Erwin & Weisdorf, Jacob, 2010. "The origins of governments: from anarchy to hierarchy," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 215-242, June.
    12. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A., 2006. "Economic Backwardness in Political Perspective," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 100(1), pages 115-131, February.
    13. 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.
    14. Ola Olsson & Heather Congdon Fors, 2004. "Congo: The Prize of Predation," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 41(3), pages 321-336, May.
    15. Ernesto Dal Bó & Pablo Hernández & Sebastián Mazzuca, 2015. "The Paradox of Civilization: Pre-Institutional Sources of Security and Prosperity," NBER Working Papers 21829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2011. "Natural Resources: Curse or Blessing?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 366-420, June.
    17. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
    18. Stergios Skaperdas & Constantinos Syropoulos, 2002. "Insecure Property and the Efficiency of Exchange," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 133-146, January.
    19. North,Douglass C. & Wallis,John Joseph & Weingast,Barry R., 2013. "Violence and Social Orders," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107646995, October.
    20. Stergios Skaperdas, 2002. "Warlord Competition," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 39(4), pages 435-446, July.
    21. Robert Bates & Avner Greif & Smita Singh, 2002. "Organizing Violence," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 46(5), pages 599-628, October.
    22. Patrick Francois & Ilia Rainer & Francesco Trebbi, 2015. "How Is Power Shared in Africa?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 465-503, March.
    23. Garfinkel, Michelle R. & Skaperdas, Stergios, 2007. "Economics of Conflict: An Overview," Handbook of Defense Economics, in: Keith Hartley & Todd Sandler (ed.), Handbook of Defense Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 649-709, Elsevier.
    24. 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.
    25. Yi, Sang-Seung, 1997. "Stable Coalition Structures with Externalities," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 201-237, August.
    26. Greif,Avner, 2006. "Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671347, October.
    27. North,Douglass C. & Wallis,John Joseph & Webb,Steven B. & Weingast,Barry R. (ed.), 2013. "In the Shadow of Violence," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107684911.
    28. Jack Hirshleifer, 2000. "The Macrotechnology of Conflict," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 44(6), pages 773-792, December.
    29. Konrad, Kai A., 2009. "Strategy and Dynamics in Contests," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199549603.
    30. Philippe Aghion, 2005. "Growth and Institutions," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 32(1), pages 3-18, March.
    31. Skaperdas, Stergios, 1992. "Cooperation, Conflict, and Power in the Absence of Property Rights," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 720-739, September.
    32. Carlo Carraro (ed.), 2003. "The Endogenous Formation of Economic Coalitions," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2999.
    33. Inderst, Roman & Muller, Holger M. & Warneryd, Karl, 2007. "Distributional conflict in organizations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 385-402, February.
    34. Warneryd, Karl, 1998. "Distributional conflict and jurisdictional organization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 435-450, September.
    35. 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.
    36. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1995. "Anarchy and Its Breakdown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 26-52, February.
    37. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2005. "Unbundling Institutions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 949-995, October.
    38. Van Bavel, Bas & Ansink, Erik & Van Besouw, Bram, 2017. "Understanding the economics of limited access orders: incentives, organizations and the chronology of developments," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 109-131, March.
    39. North,Douglass C. & Wallis,John Joseph & Webb,Steven B. & Weingast,Barry R. (ed.), 2013. "In the Shadow of Violence," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107014213.
    40. Skaperdas, Stergios, 1998. "On the Formation of Alliances in Conflict and Contests," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 96(1-2), pages 25-42, July.
    41. Van Bavel, Bas, 2015. "History as a laboratory to better understand the formation of institutions," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 69-91, March.
    42. Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-921, September.
    43. Grossman, Herschel I., 2002. ""Make us a king": anarchy, predation, and the state," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 31-46, March.
    44. Christopher Blattman & Edward Miguel, 2010. "Civil War," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 3-57, March.
    45. Bulte, Erwin H. & Damania, Richard & Deacon, Robert T., 2005. "Resource intensity, institutions, and development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1029-1044, July.
    46. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
    47. Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Warner, Andrew M., 2001. "The curse of natural resources," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 827-838, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Pedro Naso & Erwin Bulte & Tim Swanson, 2017. "Can there be benefits from competing legal regimes? The impact of legal pluralism in post-conflict Sierra Leone," CIES Research Paper series 56-2017, Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute.
    2. Van Bavel, Bas & Ansink, Erik & Van Besouw, Bram, 2017. "Understanding the economics of limited access orders: incentives, organizations and the chronology of developments," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 109-131, March.
    3. Karim Khan & Sadia Sherbaz, 2020. "Entertaining Douglass North: Political Violence and Social Order," PIDE-Working Papers 2020:174, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    4. Naso, Pedro & Bulte, Erwin & Swanson, Tim, 2020. "Legal pluralism in post-conflict Sierra Leone," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Garfinkel, Michelle R. & Skaperdas, Stergios, 2007. "Economics of Conflict: An Overview," Handbook of Defense Economics, in: Keith Hartley & Todd Sandler (ed.), Handbook of Defense Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 649-709, Elsevier.
    2. Kevin Sheedy & Bernardo Guimaraes, 2011. "A model of equilibrium institutions," 2011 Meeting Papers 49, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Bernardo Guimaraes & Kevin D. Sheedy, 2017. "Guarding the Guardians," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(606), pages 2441-2477, November.
    4. Vahabi,Mehrdad, 2019. "The Political Economy of Predation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107591370, October.
    5. Jose-Luis Evia & Roberto Laserna & Stergios Skaperdas, 2008. "Socio-Political Conflict and Economic Performance in Bolivia," CESifo Working Paper Series 2249, CESifo.
    6. Mehrdad Vahabi, 2018. "The resource curse literature as seen through the appropriability lens: a critical survey," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 175(3), pages 393-428, June.
    7. Antoine Pietri, 2017. "Les modèles de « rivalité coercitive » dans l’analyse économique des conflits," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 127(3), pages 307-352.
    8. Mehrdad Vahabi, 2012. "Political Economy of Conflict Foreword," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 122(2), pages 153-169.
    9. Harris,Colin & Cai,Meina & Murtazashvili,Ilia & Murtazashvili,Jennifer Brick, 2020. "The Origins and Consequences of Property Rights," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781108969055.
    10. Bernardo Guimaraes & Kevin D. Sheedy, 2017. "Guarding the Guardians," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(606), pages 2441-2477, November.
    11. Matthew Baker & Erwin Bulte, 2010. "Kings and Vikings: on the dynamics of competitive agglomeration," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 207-227, June.
    12. Libman, Alexander Mikhailovich, 2009. "Эндогенные Границы И Распределение Власти В Федерациях И Международных Сообществах [ENDOGENOUS BOUNDARIES AND DISTRIBUTION OF POWER In the Federation]," MPRA Paper 16473, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2011. "Pillars of Prosperity: The Political Economics of Development Clusters," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9624.
    14. Verdier, Thierry, 2010. "Ouverture, conflits et capacité étatique : une perspective d’économie politique," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 86(4), pages 415-449, décembre.
    15. Adhvaryu, Achyuta & Fenske, James & Khanna, Gaurav & Nyshadham, Anant, 2021. "Resources, conflict, and economic development in Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 149(C).
    16. Michelle R. Garfinkel, 2004. "On the Stability of Group Formation: Managing the Conflict Within," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 21(1), pages 43-68, February.
    17. Mehrdad Vahabi, 2017. "A critical survey of the resource curse literature through the appropriability lens," CEPN Working Papers 2017-14, Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord.
    18. Olsson, Ola, 2007. "Conflict diamonds," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 267-286, March.
    19. Martin Kolmar, 2008. "Perfectly Secure Property Rights and Production Inefficiencies in Tullock Contests," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 75(2), pages 441-456, August.
    20. Mehrdad Vahabi, 2009. "A Critical Review of Strategic Conflict Theory and Socio-political Instability Models," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 119(6), pages 817-858.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    limited access order; institutions; violence; appropriation; conflict;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:65574. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Joachim Winter (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.