Trade and Geography in the Origins and Spread of Islam
AbstractThis study examines the spatial distribution of Muslim societies shedding light on its geographic origins. The empirical analysis conducted across countries, virtual countries, and ethnicities establishes that geographic inequality and proximity to pre-Islamic trade routes are fundamental determinants of contemporary Muslim adherence. We provide anthropological evidence from historical societies suggesting that geographic inequality (i) increased the importance of trade for subsistence, and (ii) exacerbated social inequality nurturing a predatory environment. We conjecture that Islam with its moral and economic principles was instrumental in providing a centralized authority addressing the underlying economic inequalities and promoting trade.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18438.
Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Note: DEV EFG POL
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Other versions of this item:
- Stelios Michalopoulos & Alireza Naghavi & Giovanni Prarolo, 2012. "Trade and Geography in the Origins and Spread of Islam," Working Papers 2012-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- N0 - Economic History - - General
- N27 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Africa; Oceania
- N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy
- O0 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - General
- O1 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
- O43 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
- Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General
- Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
- Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-10-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2012-10-13 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-INT-2012-10-13 (International Trade)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jean-Philippe Platteau, 2008.
"Religion, Politics, and Development: Lessons from the Lands of Islam,"
434, Economic Research Forum, revised Sep 2008.
- Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2008. "Religion, politics, and development: Lessons from the lands of Islam," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 329-351, November.
- Binzel, Christine & Carvalho, Jean-Paul, 2013. "Education, Social Mobility and Religious Movements: A Theory of the Islamic Revival in Egypt," IZA Discussion Papers 7259, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Boris Gershman, 2013. "The Economic Origins of the Evil Eye Belief," Working Papers 2013-14, American University, Department of Economics.
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