Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department



Maloney, Michael T.

Committee Member

Tollison , Robert D.

Committee Member

Thomas , Charles J.


ABSTRACT The market for force in Italy through the 13th to 15th century is examined, through the medium of contracts between city states and mercenary soldiers. The historical era is divided into three distinct periods; each period is characterized by a typical contract type. Based on historical descriptions of these periods, it appears that the transaction costs associated with hiring private force providers varied significantly from period to period and regression analysis is performed in an attempt to determine the relationship between these costs and the number of private soldiers employed by the city states of Milan, Venice, and Florence in each period. The results of the analysis suggest that the effect of transaction costs in the market for force may be insignificant when compared to other considerations, particularly the ability of force providers to appropriate wealth directly.