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“Keystone Cops” Meet “Pirates of the Somali Coast”: The Failure of International Efforts to Control Maritime Piracy


  • Paul Hallwood

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Thomas J. Miceli

    (University of Connecticut)


Modern-day piracy on the high seas once again poses a serious threat to international shipping. This paper develops an economic of model of piracy that emphasizes the strategic interaction between pirates (offenders) and shippers (victims), a factor not previously studied in the law enforcement literature. A key implication of the model is that greater enforcement efforts will not necessarily result in less activity by pirates. Optimal enforcement policies are complicated by the need for international cooperation in the apprehension and prosecution of pirates. Free riding and other problems therefore impede the effectiveness of current international laws against piracy.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Hallwood & Thomas J. Miceli, 2011. "“Keystone Cops” Meet “Pirates of the Somali Coast”: The Failure of International Efforts to Control Maritime Piracy," Working papers 2011-09, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2011-09

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter T. Leeson, 2007. "An-arrgh-chy: The Law and Economics of Pirate Organization," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 1049-1094, December.
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    More about this item


    International law; law enforcement; piracy;

    JEL classification:

    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
    • K33 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - International Law

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