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Institutions, taxation, and market relationships in ancient Athens

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  • LYTTKENS, CARL HAMPUS

Abstract

This paper explores the mutual influence between the institutional development in Athens in the archaic and classical periods and the contemporary changes in economic life. This enhances our understanding of the causes and consequences of institutional change. It is also worth exploring in view of the suggested connections between economic development, markets and democracy. Between 600 and 322 B.C., Athenian society underwent significant institutional change. Rule by a birth aristocracy gave way to (changing) democratic institutions. Political pay was introduced for magistrates, jurors, and assemblymen. Legislation and execution was transferred to the Assembly and to the courts. The nature and extent of taxation changed. In the same period, economic life changed both qualitatively and quantitatively. Trade and specialisation increased, coinage was introduced and self-sufficient farming gradually gave way to reliance on imports and on the market for necessary goods. These changes not only influenced institutional change, they also affected people’s perception of the world. The influence of institutions on the presence and nature of economic transactions is obvious. The influence on institutional change from changes in economic behaviours and outlook seems however potentially equally important.
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  • Lyttkens, Carl Hampus, 2010. "Institutions, taxation, and market relationships in ancient Athens," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(04), pages 505-527, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jinsec:v:6:y:2010:i:04:p:505-527_00
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2008. "Income and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 808-842.
    2. Fleck, Robert K & Hanssen, F Andrew, 2006. "The Origins of Democracy: A Model with Application to Ancient Greece," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 115-146, April.
    3. Carl Hampus Lyttkens, 1997. "A Rational-Actor Perspective on the Origin of Liturgies in Ancient Greece," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 153(3), pages 462-462, September.
    4. Carl Lyttkens, 2006. "Reflections on the Origins of the Polis," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 31-48, March.
    5. Lindbladh, Eva & Lyttkens, Carl Hampus, 2002. "Habit versus choice: the process of decision-making in health-related behaviour," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 451-465, August.
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    10. Joseph G. Manning, 2004. "Property Rights and Contracting in Ptolemaic Egypt," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 160(4), pages 758-758, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lyttkens, Carl Hampus & Gerding, Henrik, 2015. "Understanding the Politics of Perikles Around 450 BC. The Benefits of an Economic Perspective," Working Papers 2015:13, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    2. Nicholas Kyriazis & Xenophon Paparrigopoulos, 2014. "War and democracy in ancient Greece," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 163-183, August.
    3. Tridimas, George, 2015. "War, disenfranchisement and the fall of the ancient Athenian democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 102-117.
    4. Arvanitidis Paschalis A. & Kyriazis Nicholas C., 2013. "Democracy and Public Choice in Classical Athens," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 19(2), pages 213-248, August.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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