This collection of essays departs from the conventional economic paradigm wherein individuals or groups choose among various productive activities for mutually beneficial trade. Each essay recognizes that where property rights are not well defined or easily enforced, individuals may forgo productive opportunities and engage in appropriative activities to compete for property, income, rights or privileges. Though the essays differ in their focus, each illustrates the importance of the institutional setting in determining economic activity. The first of the two sets of essays examines the allocation of resources among productive and appropriative activities in an anarchical political environment, without legal or constitutional tradition. Their objective is to understand different facets of the emergence of order and restraint on individual behaviour out of conditions with few or no assumed constraints. The second set focuses on different types of political institutions, illustrating how they shape conflict and economic activity, and how they themselves can be shaped by conflict.
• First collection to explore systematically how the economics of cooperation can and does shift into the economics of conflict • Collection includes numerous press authors with name recognition, especially Jack Hirshleifer, a pioneer in his field • Well-written introduction will engage readers; though primarily for economics, it will also find a readership in political science
1. Introduction: conflict and appropriation as economic activities Michelle R. Garfinkel and Stephen Skaperdas; 2. Anarchy and its breakdown Jack Hirshleifer; 3. Towards a model of territorial expansion and the limits of empire Ronald Findlay; 4. Production and predation Herschel I. Grossman and Minseong Kim; 5. Competitive trade with Conflict Stergios Skaperdas and Constantinos Syropoulos; 6. Increasing returns to politics in developing countries with endogenous protection in the Ricardo-Viner model Nakgyoon Choi and Stephen P. Magee; 7. Demosclerosis, or special interests 'r' us: an informational rationale for political gridlock Susanne Lohmann; 8. Deforestation, investment and political stability Robert T. Deacon; 9. Violence and the assignment of property rights on two Brazilian frontiers Lee J. Alston, Gary D. Libecap, and Robert Schneider.