Political economy

Since money is so critical for matters of state, some of my work on money has relevance for political economy. Some of the papers below are also listed in their monetary context in my Monetary History and Law page.
In Why was America's First Bank Aborted? [Journal of Economic History 71(1), March 2011, 211-22] I show that a bank in 1680s Massachusetts was aborted because an English royal governor invalidated all the local land titles. These land titles were supposed to back the bank's notes. The story is a clear demonstration of the importance of property rights for financial development.
That governor was a dictator, and his behavior was completely opposite to that of the preceding dictator, who was also appointed by England but was a local man. The latter joined the bank plan and promoted it. In Property Rights under Administrator-Dictators: The Rise and Fall of America's First Bank (with Igal Milchtaich) [Journal of Economic History 73(4), December 2013, 1098-1124] we examine the usefulness of Olson's model of stationary and roving bandits to understanding this difference. We modify Olson's model to the case of administrator-dictators, which is very common in history.

In Forced Money: Legal Development of a Criminal Economic Rule [Comparative Legal History - published online Nov. 2016] I show how a most intrusive economic law was enacted in the crisis of the French Revolution and still survives in some countries. It was invented and adopted along the way due to changing combinations of crises, authoritarianism and socialist ideology.