This paper analyzes “constitutional effectiveness” – the degree to which constitutions can be enforced – in the system of government vs. the system of clubs. Professor Leeson argues that clubs have residual claimants on revenues generated through constitutional compliance, operate in a highly competitive environment, and permit individuals to sort themselves according to their governance needs.
A key insight of economics is the unintended, often undesirable, consequences of government activity. Although the idea that government policy may create harmful secondary effects is well known, too often when policy makers craft policies designed to promote the public welfare they seem to ignore these effects. An example of this may be government provision of natural disaster relief.
For over a century England's judicial system decided land disputes by ordering disputants' legal representatives to bludgeon one another before an arena of spectating citizens. The victor won the property right for his principal. The vanquished lost his cause and, if he were unlucky, his life. People called these combats trials by battle. This paper investigates the law and economics of trial by battle.
Why do criminals use constitutions? This paper argues that constitutions perform three functions in criminal organizations. By performing these functions, constitutions facilitate criminal cooperation and enhance criminals’ profit.
Perhaps most important in bringing pirates to their end was a series of early 18th-century legal changes that made it possible to effectively prosecute them. This short paper’s purpose is to recount those legal changes and document their effectiveness. Its other purpose is to analyze pirates’ response to the legal changes designed to exterminate them, which succeeded, at least partly, in frustrating the government’s goal.
According to conventional wisdom, self-governance cannot facilitate order between the members of different social groups. This is considered doubly true for the members of social groups that are avowed enemies of one another. This paper argues that it can.