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The State’s Enforcement Monopoly and the Private Protection of Property

Christoffel Grechenig () and Martin Kolmar ()
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Christoffel Grechenig: Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn
Martin Kolmar: Institute of Economics, University of St. Gallen

No 2011_24, Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods from Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Abstract: The modern state has monopolized the legitimate use of force. This concept is twofold. First, the state is empowered with enforcement rights; second, the rights of the individuals are (partly) restricted. In a simple model of property rights with appropriation and defense activity, we show that a restriction of private enforcement is beneficial for the property owner, even if there are no economies of scale from public protection. We emphasize the role of the state as a commitment device for a certain level of enforcement. However, commitment will only work if the state can regulate private protection. A ban of private enforcement measures can even be beneficial in situations where there would be no private enforcement at first place because the “shadow” of defense has a negative impact on the investments in property rights infringements. From a legal perspective, our approach emphasizes a regulation of victim behavior as opposed to the standard approach which focuses on the regulation of criminal behavior.

Keywords: Contests; Property Rights; Enforcement; Private Protection; Law (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K42 N40 P14 P37 P48 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-law and nep-reg
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1)

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