Public Choice and the Economic Analysis of Anarchy: A Survey
72 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2009 Last revised: 24 Jan 2009
Date Written: January 7, 2009
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.
Keywords: anarchism, lawlessness, order, internalization of externalities, self-governance
JEL Classification: D74, H11, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation