Postprint version. Published in Rationality and Society, Volume 11, Issue 2, May 1, 1999, pages 115-138.
The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Rationality and Society by Sage Publications Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright © 1999 Sage Publications. The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/104346399011002001.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Eduardo Zambrano was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
Talcot Parsons suggested in 1963 that there are basically three kinds of authority: utilitarian authority, coercive authority, and persuasive authority. In this paper, I show that the models developed by Gibbons and Rutten (1997), Hirshleifer (1991), Skaperdas (1992), Akerlof (1976) and Basu (1986) can be viewed as models where issues such as authority, power, influence and ideology, in the sense of Parsons, can be formally discussed. I also show the existence of an interesting difficulty in providing a contractarian interpretation of the State under the Parsonian view of governmental authority discussed in this paper.