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The economics of early social stratification

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  • Rowthorn, Robert
  • Guzmán, Ricardo Andrés
  • Rodríguez-Sickert, Carlos

Abstract

We develop an endogenous fertility model of social stratification with two hereditary classes: warriors and peasants. Our model shows that the extra cost warriors must incur to raise their children and to equip them for war is the key determinant of (1) the relative sizes of both classes, and (2) the warriors' economic privileges in terms of income and consumption. The higher the cost of warrior children, the greater the economic privileges of warriors will be, and the smaller the ratio of warriors to peasants will be. Historical evidence confirms this prediction.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 10115.

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Date of creation: 07 Sep 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:10115

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Related research

Keywords: Social stratification; income inequality; warfare; military participation ratio; Malthus; economic history; population economics;

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  1. Lundberg, S. & Startz, R., 1992. "On the Persistence of Racial Inequality," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 92-04, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  2. Costabile, Lilia & Rowthorn, Bob, 1985. "Malthus's Theory of Wages and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(378), pages 418-37, June.
  3. Michele Boldrin & Larry E. Jones, 2002. "Mortality, Fertility, and Saving in a Malthusian Economy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 775-814, October.
  4. Joseph Henrich & Robert Boyd, 2007. "Division of Labor, Economic Specialization and the Evolution of Social Stratification," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2007-20, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
  5. Nerlove, Marc & Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1986. "Endogenous Population with Public Goods and Malthusian Fixed Resources: Efficiency or Market Failure," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(3), pages 601-09, October.
  6. Eckstein, Zvi & Stern, Steven & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1988. "Fertility Choice, Land, and the Malthusian Hypothesis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(2), pages 353-61, May.
  7. Boone, Jan, 2000. "Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 2636, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Razin, Assaf & Ben-Zion, Uri, 1975. "An Intergenerational Model of Population Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 923-33, December.
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