Can markets provide law enforcement?


  • 06/06/2011
There are numerous cases where parties choose to enter into private legal arrangements. On a local level, universities, condominium associations, and shopping malls all provide rules and security to create a safe atmosphere. On a global level, trading and arbitration companies provide guidelines and dispute settlement for businesses not under any single governing authority. What can be learned from the fact that private companies already provide both local and non-local protection for their customers? In particular, what does that fact mean for failed states where such services are lacking? Can private governance be a substitute for the government, and if so, to what extent and under what institutional perquisites?

Edward P. Stringham is the Lloyd V. Hackley Endowed Professor for the Study of Capitalism and Free Enterprise. Stringham earned his Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University under Peter Boettke in 2002, and he has won numerous awards. He is Past President of the Association of Private Enterprise Education, Editor of the Journal of Private Enterprise, editor of two books, and author of more than thirty articles in refereed journals. Stringham has been discussed on hundreds of broadcast stations and newspapers worldwide. Also watch for Stringham pushing F.A. Hayek out of the way at the end of the recent music video Battle of the Century: Keynes versus Hayek Round 2

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