It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day over at The Mudd, and elsewhere.

As I told you last year, Peter Leeson has an excellent series of papers on piratical organization, including The Invisible Hook, an economic analysis of piratical organization.  You can also check out the JPE piece it was based on or simply get a flavor from one of its many favorable reviews.

Here’s the gist:

The idea of the invisible hook is that pirates, though they’re criminals, are still driven by their self-interest. So they were driven to build systems of government and social structures that allowed them to better pursue their criminal ends.

Certainly the big eye opener is that classic pirates had democratic governance structures.  I would guess that most organized crime we think of today — including modern-day pirates is more conventionally hierarchical.  Watch for this in Econ 450.