The Review of Austrian Economics

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 299–305 | Cite as

Piracy, Inc.—on the bearing of the firm analogy to pirate organization



Peter T. Leeson’s The Invisible Hook provides an illuminating economic analysis of how pirates established governance structures regulating their organization. Leeson is successful in showing economic rationales for piratical institutions and adopts the view of the piratical enterprise as a for-profit business firm to further illustrate the point. This essay argues, however, that modern theories of the firm are not fully compatible with the nature of piratical organization. Rather, pirates seem to have suffered from problems much like those in traditional cooperatives, arising from organizing collective action and joint ownership of the means of production.


Theory of the firm Organization Ownership Pirates 

JEL codes

D21 J54 L10 L22 L23 Q13 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Applied Social SciencesUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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