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Pre-Neolithic economy


  • Serge Svizzero

    () (Université de la Reunion, France)


It is commonly believed that it is only from the Neolithic period that one can speak about the economy. Before the development of this economy of food production – based on farming and livestock rearing – the economy of hunter-gatherers – based on food procurement – is usually assumed to be limited to a subsistence economy. Our purpose is to demonstrate that even during the pre-Neolithic period, the economic activity had been already quite developed. Indeed, this period starts with the end of the last ice age and is then featured by a broad-spectrum economy, including varied food resources. Such change has induced less nomadism, increasing division of labour and human population growth. In turn, it has implied, on the one hand, trade, wealth accumulation, the implementation of property rights, including land ownership. On the other hand, it has stimulated labour productivity and human knowledge. Even if it was less developed, the pre-Neolithic economy was quite similar in nature to the Neolithic one’s. Therefore it already contained the origins of our civilization.

Suggested Citation

  • Serge Svizzero, 2014. "Pre-Neolithic economy," History of Economic Ideas, Fabrizio Serra Editore, Pisa - Roma, vol. 22(2), pages 25-40.
  • Handle: RePEc:hid:journl:v:22:y:2014:2:2:p:25-40

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    Cited by:

    1. Serge Svizzero & Clement A. Tisdell & Duncan Watson, 2016. "Economic evolution, diversity of societies and stages of economic development: A critique of theories applied to hunters and gatherers and their successors," Cogent Economics & Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 1161322-116, December.

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