The Rise And Fall Of Communal Liability In Ancient Law
- Author(s): Francesco Parisi, Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci
- Date Posted: 2003
- Law & Economics #: 03-44
- Availability: Full text (most recent) on SSRN
In ancient societies, rules of communal responsibility permitted the imposition of retaliatory sanctions on a wrongdoers clan. These rules followed the collective ownership structure of early communities. Over time, notions of personal responsibility emerged, terminating the transfer of responsibility from one member to the whole clan. This paper intends to provide an economic explanation for this transition.