NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

"Make Us a King": Anarchy, Predation, and the State

Herschel I. Grossman

NBER Working Paper No. 6289
Issued in November 1997
NBER Program(s):   EFG   PE   ME

In order to enforce a collective choice to allocate resource to guarding against predators producers must subject themselves to the state's sovereign power to tax and to spend. But these sovereign powers in hand the state can exploit the producers by taxing and spending for its" own purposes. Using a general equilibrium model in which people can choose to be either" producers or predators, this paper rationalizes the biblical request, Make us a king. analysis shows that, if the technology of predation is sufficiently good better for everyone, including both producers and potential predators even though a king maximizes the consumption of a ruling elite.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w6289

Published: Grossman, Herschel I. "'Make Us A King': Anarchy, Predation, And The State," European Journal of Political Economy, 2002, v18(1,Mar), 31-46.

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