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Public Choice and the Economic Analysis of Anarchy: A Survey


Benjamin Powell


Suffolk University

Edward Peter Stringham


Fayetteville State University - School of Business and Economics

January 7, 2009


Abstract:     
Public choice economists began studying the economics of anarchy in the 1970s. Since then, the amount of research on anarchy has burgeoned. This article surveys the important public choice contributions to the economics of anarchy. Following the lead of the early public choice economists, many current economists are researching and analyzing how individuals interact without government. From their non-public-interested explanations of the creation of government law enforcement to their historical studies of attempts to internalize externalities under anarchy, public choice scholars are arriving at a more realistic perspective on government and how people interact when government law enforcement is lacking. Although the economics of politics often receives more attention, the economics of anarchy is an important area of research in public choice.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 72

Keywords: anarchism, lawlessness, order, internalization of externalities, self-governance

JEL Classification: D74, H11, K42

working papers series


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Date posted: January 8, 2009 ; Last revised: January 24, 2009

Suggested Citation

Powell, Benjamin and Stringham, Edward Peter, Public Choice and the Economic Analysis of Anarchy: A Survey (January 7, 2009). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1324407 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1324407

Contact Information

Benjamin Powell
Suffolk University ( email )
Boston, MA 02108
United States
Edward Peter Stringham (Contact Author)
Fayetteville State University - School of Business and Economics ( email )
Fayetteville, NC 28301
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.uncfsu.edu/sbe/HackleyChair/Stringham_Bio.htm
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