An Agent-Based Computational Model of the Predatory State
5 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2008
Date Written: June 2, 2008
Olson (1993) has proposed that a self-interested bandit has an incentive to become stationary and provide public goods within his domain, in particular protection of property rights, particularly against other roving bandits. The consequent increased social productivity permits the stationary bandit (dignified with the title of king) to obtain a greater personal return than is obtained by roving bandits preying on a poorer society. At the same time, increased security provides the subjects with a greater incentive to invest, thereby leading to longer term increases in social wealth. Olson`s analysis complements the property-rights view of development most closely associated with Douglass North (North & Thomas (1973), North (1981)). North argues that respect by rulers for the property rights of subjects is responsible for economic development by providing an incentive for productive investment. Olson`s theory gives an explanation of why a self-interested ruler might choose to respect property rights. This paper presents a spatial evolutionary game-theoretic agent-based computational model of the North/Olson argument.
Keywords: Predatory state
JEL Classification: C70, H10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation