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Property Rights, Warfare and the Neolithic Transition

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  • Rowthorn, Robert
  • Seabright, Paul

Abstract

This paper explains the multiple adoption of agriculture around ten thousand years ago, in spite of the fact that the first farmers suffered worse health and nutrition than their hunter gatherer predecessors. If output is harder for farmers to defend, adoption may entail increased defense investments, and equilibrium consumption levels may decline as agricultural productivity increases over a signi ficant range, before eventually increasing thereafter. Agricultural adoption may have been a prisoners’ dilemma in that adoption was individually attractive even though all groups would have been better off committing not to adopt while the initial productivity advantage of agriculture remained low.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 10-207.

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Date of creation: Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:23846

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Related research

Keywords: agriculture; defense; property rights; contest functions; Neolithic transition;

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References

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  1. Arthur J. Robson, 2010. "A bioeconomic view of the Neolithic transition to agriculture," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(1), pages 280-300, February.
  2. Jacob Weisdorf, 2008. "Why did the First Farmers Toil? Human Metabolism and the Origins of Agriculture," Discussion Papers 08-15, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  3. Gonzalez, Francisco M. & Neary, Hugh M., 2008. "Prosperity without conflict," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2170-2181, October.
  4. Ricardo Andrés Guzmán & Jacob Louis Weisdorf, 2010. "The Neolithic Revolution from a Price-Theoretic Perspective," Discussion Papers 10-13, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  5. Toke Skovsgaard Aidt, 2002. "Strategic Political Participation and Redistribution," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 19-40.
  6. Francisco M. Gonzalez, 2005. "Insecure Property and Technological Backwardness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 703-721, 07.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. A neolithic prisonner's dilemma
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-02-02 15:05:00
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Cited by:
  1. David K. Levine & Salvatore Modica, 2013. "Conflict, evolution, hegemony, and the power of the state," Working Papers 2013-023, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  2. David K Levine & Salvatore Modica, 2013. "Conflict, Evolution, Hegemony, and the Power of the State," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000692, David K. Levine.
  3. David K. Levine & Salvatore Modica, 2012. "Conflict and the evolution of societies," Working Papers 2012-032, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

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  1. Economic Logic blog

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