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The Role and Evolution of Central Authorities


  • Paul Frijters

    (Free University, Amsterdam)

  • Alexander F. Tieman

    (Tinbergen Institute & Free University, Amsterdam)


In this paper we consider the way in which authorities arise in response to the need for coordination. In a model of local interaction, an authority is understood as a self-enforcing coordination selection structure, where the threat of violence ensures compliance. Such authorities form if mutually connected individuals with sufficient combined punishment potential have signalled their willingness to form such an authority, conditional upon the willigness of others to do so. Given a specific timing of decisions, we analyse the conditions under which authorities arise and under which they evolve into a steady situation with only one or several remaining authorities.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Frijters & Alexander F. Tieman, 1999. "The Role and Evolution of Central Authorities," Game Theory and Information 9902002, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:9902002
    Note: Type of Document - PDF; prepared on Compaq Deskpro / Scientific Workplace 2.5; pages: 23 ; figures: included (3)

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    central authorities; evolution; local interaction;

    JEL classification:

    • B25 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary; Austrian; Stockholm School
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods

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