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Rules, Organizations, and Governments

John Wallis ()

Atlantic Economic Journal, 2015, vol. 43, issue 1, 69-86

Abstract: Social scientists generally accept a Hobbesian conception of government as a coercive rule enforcer. This paper challenges the idea that the essential feature of government is its ability to coerce, and argues instead that the essential feature of government is its ability to coordinate. Governments are defined as organizations that publicly signify agreements. The utility of the new perspective is demonstrated by reconsidering how societies acquire the ability to create and enforce impersonal rules, rules that treat everyone the same, as the process of modern political and economic development gets under way. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2015

Keywords: Market structure; Economic systems; Economic growth; K1; K3; L1; L3; N00; N4; O1; O2; P00; P5 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:43:y:2015:i:1:p:69-86