IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Evolution of Criminal Law and Police

  • Douglas W. Allen

    (Simon Fraser University)

  • Yoram Barzel

    (University of Washington)

Increased standardization of goods was a by-product of the technical innovations triggering the Industrial Revolution. A side effect of standardization was the new abilities it allowed for theft and embezzlement. Two significant modern institutions radically evolved during the 18th to mid 19th centuries to control these costs: criminal law and public police. These institutions strongly interacted with the pace of the Industrial Revolution. Our argument explains this evolution, and helps to explain several historical facts: the role of early police; the fall of the watch system; the removal of possession immunity; the rise and fall of factory colonies; the fall and rise of court cases during the 18th century; and the delay of per capita income in response to technical innovations in the Industrial Revolution.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 Not Found ( [302 Found]--> If this is indeed the case, please notify (Michael Goldblatt)

Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Washington, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number UWEC-2008-01.

in new window

Date of creation: Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:udb:wpaper:uwec-2008-01
Contact details of provider: Postal: Box 353330, Seattle, WA 98193-3330
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Jones, S. R. H., 1982. "The organization of work : A historical dimension," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(2-3), pages 117-137.
  2. N. F. R. Crafts & C. K. Harley, 1992. "Output growth and the British industrial revolution: a restatement of the Crafts-Harley view," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 45(4), pages 703-730, November.
  3. Szostak, Rick, 1989. "The organization of work : The emergence of the factory revisited," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 343-358, May.
  4. Richard N. Langlois, 1995. "The Coevolution of Technology and Organization in the Transition to the Factory System," Economic History 9503001, EconWPA.
  5. 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.
  6. Douglass C. North, 1968. "Sources of Productivity Change in Ocean Shipping, 1600-1850," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 953.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:udb:wpaper:uwec-2008-01. 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: (Michael Goldblatt)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.