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Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good God would permit us to be pirates.
May 30, 2007 4:03 PM   Subscribe

An-arrgh-chy: The Law and Economics of Pirate Organization. [alternate link] To effectively organize their banditry, pirates required mechanisms to prevent internal predation, minimize crew conflict, and maximize piratical profit. [ssrnfilter]
posted by monju_bosatsu (18 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Good use of tags in this post.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 4:18 PM on May 30, 2007


Sadly, no mention of the Barbary Coase theorem.

Alternative PDF here.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 4:18 PM on May 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


That was awesome. I like how they had to have a law against smoking next to the gunpowder. Because if they didn't.... oh boy, watch out!

Thanks.
posted by dios at 4:34 PM on May 30, 2007


To effectively...maximize piratical profit.

Hey professor? What's another name for pirate treasure?

Why that'd be boo..uh..piratical profit.


Nah.. it just doesn't groove the same.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:40 PM on May 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


pirates have jumped the shark.
posted by geos at 4:42 PM on May 30, 2007


Aloysius Bear: Sadly, no mention of the Barbary Coase theorem.

The Barbary Coase pirates were destroyed by the transaction costs they ignored to their watery peril.
posted by psmith at 4:52 PM on May 30, 2007


Witty fuck*r
posted by acro at 4:53 PM on May 30, 2007


lolpirates
posted by Artw at 5:11 PM on May 30, 2007


This was a much better use of Nash Equilibria than the earlier article.
posted by localroger at 5:13 PM on May 30, 2007


localroger writes "much better use of Nash Equilibria"

Still in both articles the booty is a _given_ , but in pirates the problem is with allocation and trust. I only give the paper a cursory glance, but it didn't seem to me that it address the collusion between Quartermaster and Captain in liquidating the booty and determining how much was collected.
posted by elpapacito at 5:23 PM on May 30, 2007


liquidating the booty

Wasn't that a Parliment song?
posted by dios at 5:25 PM on May 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


elpapacito, if the crew suspected such collusion they could readily de-elect the quartermaster and have the new one investigate him. If there was any resistance to this the crew would rise up in overwhelming unity and depose them both.

The main problem as I mentioned in the other problem is that winning is given much more importance than maximizing profit for both, an assumption that is clearly a relic of the cold war. The pirates were also playing for dollars rather than nukes, but their problem wasn't designed explicitly to show the flaw in the analysis strategy.
posted by localroger at 5:28 PM on May 30, 2007


Of course, profit wasn't the only thing on a pirate's mind.
posted by stargell at 6:26 PM on May 30, 2007


localroger writes "if the crew suspected such collusion they could readily de-elect the quartermaster"

Yes they probably would, but that's assuming an amount and quality of information that enables and suggest the hardy pirates to take action , challenging the Quartermaster and the Captain. Of course they reason in term of maximization of their shares (proportional to booty) and not of "victory" of either the 4ms or capt faction (applicable also to dem vs reps) , but they have the pertinent information at hand, as opposed to "ideologies".

They probably would extimate their share as a function of the quality and quantity of good stolen and average "market" price ; or more likely their share was so relatively high, compared to zero or average wealth, they never were much concerned about collusion of oligarchy, unless this caused an evident reduction of share or increased likelyhood of being greatly exploited.
posted by elpapacito at 6:43 PM on May 30, 2007


No mention of Cheng Yisao in an article on piratical profit? Her husband got a brief mention in a footnote, but she expanded the family business model to include extortion.

Hey professor? What's another name for pirate treasure?

"Transhipped goods."
posted by Tehanu at 8:10 PM on May 30, 2007


No pirate thread is complete without it.
posted by atrazine at 11:11 PM on May 30, 2007


atrazine , stargell...you two should meet.
posted by elpapacito at 2:48 AM on May 31, 2007


"Transhipped goods."

It's was a Beastie Boys reference, but you knew that. RIGHT?!
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 5:43 PM on May 31, 2007


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