NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

From Wild West to the Godfather: Enforcement Market Structure

James E. Anderson, Oriana Bandiera

NBER Working Paper No. 8469
Issued in September 2001
NBER Program(s):   ITI

Weak states enable private enforcement but it does not always fade away in the presence of strong states. We develop a general equilibrium model of the market organization of enforcers (self-enforcers, competitive specialized enforcers or monopoly) who defend endowments from predators. We provide conditions under which a Mafia emerges, persists and is stable. Mafias are most likely to emerge at intermediate stages of economic development. Private enforcers might provide better enforcement to the rich than would a welfare-maximizing state - hence the State may find it difficult to replace the Mafia or competitive private enforcers.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w8469

Published: Anderson, James E. and Oriana Bandiera. “Private Enforcement and Social Efficiency." Journal of Development Economics 77 (2005): 341-366.

 
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