The State’s Enforcement Monopoly and the Private Protection of Property

28 Pages Posted: 6 May 2014

See all articles by Kristoffel R. Grechenig

Kristoffel R. Grechenig

Max-Planck-Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Martin Kolmar

University of St. Gallen - Institute of Economy and the Environment (IWOe-HSG); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 1, 2011

Abstract

The modern state has monopolized the legitimate use of force. This concept is twofold. First, the state is empowered with enforcement rights; second, the rights of the individuals are (partly) restricted. In a simple model of property rights with appropriation and defense activity, we show that a restriction of private enforcement is beneficial for the property owner, even if there are no economies of scale from public protection. We emphasize the role of the state as a commitment device for a certain level of enforcement. However, commitment will only work if the state can regulate private protection. A ban of private enforcement measures can even be beneficial in situations where there would be no private enforcement at first place because the 'shadow' of defense has a negative impact on the investments in property rights infringements. From a legal perspective, our approach emphasizes a regulation of victim behavior as opposed to the standard approach which focuses on the regulation of criminal behavior.

Keywords: contests, property rights, enforcement, private protection, law

JEL Classification: K42, P14, P37, P48, N40

Suggested Citation

Grechenig, Kristoffel R. and Kolmar, Martin, The State’s Enforcement Monopoly and the Private Protection of Property (October 1, 2011). MPI Collective Goods Preprint, No. 2011/24. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1946760 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1946760

Kristoffel R. Grechenig (Contact Author)

Max-Planck-Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany
+49 228 91416-51 (Phone)
+49 228 91416-851 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/kristoffelgrechenig

Martin Kolmar

University of St. Gallen - Institute of Economy and the Environment (IWOe-HSG) ( email )

Varnbüelstrasse 14
CH-9000 St. Gallen
Switzerland
+41 (0)71 224 25 35 (Phone)
+41 (0)71 224 23 02 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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