Trade or Raid: Acadian Settlers and Native Americans Before 1755

Public Choice, Forthcoming

49 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2020

See all articles by Rosolino Candela

Rosolino Candela

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Vincent Geloso

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 25, 2020

Abstract

Could North America have been settled more peacefully, with fewer property rights violations against Native Americans? To answer this question, we utilize the case of French colonists of Atlantic Canada (the Acadians) and a Native American tribe (the Mi’kmaq) between the 17th and 18th centuries in the areas around the Bay of Fundy in the modern provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Under a relative state of anarchy, both the Acadians and the Mi’kmaq were able to minimize the relative returns to using violence by adopting rules of collective decision-making that favored consensus-building. By prioritizing consensus, distributional coalitions were faced with higher decision-making costs, making it difficult for concentrated interest groups within each society to capture the gains from fighting and spilling them over as external costs over the rest of the population. As a result, both the Acadians and the Mi’kmaq were able to reap the benefits of productive specialization and social cooperation under the division of labor.

Keywords: Anarchy; Collective Decision Making; Property Rights

JEL Classification: D74; N11; P14

Suggested Citation

Candela, Rosolino and Geloso, Vincent, Trade or Raid: Acadian Settlers and Native Americans Before 1755 (September 25, 2020). Public Choice, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3700423 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3700423

Rosolino Candela (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Vincent Geloso

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

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