Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Morality, institutions and economic growth: Lessons from ancient Greece

Contents:

Author Info

  • Bitros, George
  • Karayiannis, Anastassios

Abstract

We show that the character and the morality of citizens are important ingredients of economic growth because they go hand in hand with the great institutions of private property, democ-racy, and free markets. Our approach enables us to establish this result by reference to the structure and performance of the ancient economies of Athens and Sparta during the period 490-338 BC. Athens grew vastly wealthier than Sparta essentially because its institutions were optimally adjusted to confront the basic scarcity of grains, whereas the institutions of Sparta were optimally adjusted to sustain its military supremacy. However, in both cases there emerged systems of morality, which secured the operating efficiency of their institutions. Therefore, poor countries in search of potent strategies for rapid economic growth should not just try to emulate the institutions of economically advanced countries. At the same time, they should put the emphasis of their efforts to setting up agoge systems, so as to infuse into the character of their citizens compatible “ethos”. For, without the latter, no matter how success-fully they adapt the institutions of democracy and free markets, rapid economic growth will be inhibited from the lack of an environment of generalized morality. In this regard, the ideal type model of agoge is the one that prevailed in ancient Athens 25 centuries ago.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/994/
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 994.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 26 Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:994

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: ancient Greece; morality; institutions; economic growth;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:994. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.