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The Distribution of Income in a Despotic Society

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  • Dan Usher
  • Merwan Engineer

Abstract

A distribution of income between rulers and subjects, or among ranks in a ruling hierarchy, cannot be derived from considerations of marginal products of owned factors of production. Such a distribution can be derived as a balance of income and violence. Society is organized in ranks, and the ruler provides occupants with incomes just sufficient that it is not in their interest to rebel. To model such behaviour, it is necessary to introduce phenomena normally excluded in economic analysis: combat, violence, mortality rates as a component of the utility function, and a rudimentary technology of control.

Suggested Citation

  • Dan Usher & Merwan Engineer, 1986. "The Distribution of Income in a Despotic Society," Working Papers 653, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:653
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary S. Becker & George J. Stigler, 1974. "Law Enforcement, Malfeasance, and Compensation of Enforcers," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, January.
    2. Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 2006. "The Power to Tax," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521027922, May.
    3. Roemer, John E, 1985. "Rationalizing Revolutionary Ideology," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 85-108, January.
    4. Thomas Romer & Howard Rosenthal, 1979. "Bureaucrats Versus Voters: On the Political Economy of Resource Allocation by Direct Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(4), pages 563-587.
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    Cited by:

    1. Skaperdas, Stergios & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 1996. "Can the shadow of the future harm cooperation?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 355-372, May.
    2. MacCulloch, Robert, 1999. "What makes a revolution?," ZEI Working Papers B 24-1999, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
    3. 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.
    4. Kjell Hausken, 2005. "Production and Conflict Models Versus Rent-Seeking Models," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 59-93, April.
    5. Noh, Suk Jae, 1999. "A General Equilibrium Model of Two Group Conflict with Endogenous Intra-group Sharing Rules," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 251-267, March.
    6. Filip Palda, 2001. "The Economics of Election Campaign Spending Limits," Public Economics 0111011, EconWPA.
    7. Möller Marie, 2011. "Gefangen im Dilemma? Ein strategischer Ansatz der Wahlund Revolutionsteilnahme / Trapped in Dilemma? A Strategic Approach to explain Participation in Elections and Revolutions," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 62(1), pages 425-454, January.
    8. Möller, Marie, 2011. "Gefangen im Dilemma? Ein strategischer Ansatz der Wahl- und Revolutionsteilnahme," CIW Discussion Papers 3/2011, University of Münster, Center for Interdisciplinary Economics (CIW).
    9. Daniel Sutter, 1997. "Enforcing Constitutional Constraints," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 139-150, June.
    10. Suk Jae Noh, 2014. "Economic and Political Reforms in a Planned Economy," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 30, pages 333-348.
    11. Polachek Solomon W., 1999. "Conflict and Trade: An Economics Approach to Political International Interactions," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-32, April.
    12. Hausken, Kjell, 2000. "Migration and intergroup conflict," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 327-331, December.
    13. Hausken, Kjell, 1998. "Collective rent seeking and division of labor1," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 739-768, November.
    14. Edgardo E. Zablotsky, 1992. "A Public Choice Approach to Military Coups d'Etat," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 85, Universidad del CEMA.

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