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The Role of Palatial Economic Organization in Creating Wealth in Minoan and Mycenaean States


  • Svizzero, Serge
  • Tisdell, Clem


During the Late Bronze Age, Aegean societies (Minoan and Mycenaean) exhibited strong economic development. This resulted from the implementation by the elite of a centralized and hierarchical administrative and social system in order to manage most economic activities. In these palatial economies, the elite organized the extraction of the surplus, therefore avoiding the Malthusian trap. They also organized the division of labor and the specialization in production and the distribution of the collected surplus by means of staple and wealth finance systems, the latter being based on the production of luxury items controlled by the palace. Trade was also encouraged in order to strengthen palatial power.

Suggested Citation

  • Svizzero, Serge & Tisdell, Clem, 2015. "The Role of Palatial Economic Organization in Creating Wealth in Minoan and Mycenaean States," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 206552, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uqseet:206552

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ashraf, Quamrul & Galor, Oded, 2008. "Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 7057, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Gregory Clark, 2007. "Introduction to A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World," Introductory Chapters,in: A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World Princeton University Press.
    3. Svizzero, Serge & Tisdell, Clem, 2014. "Inequality and Wealth Creation in Ancient History: Malthus' Theory Reconsidered," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 183285, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    4. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2011. "Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2003-2041, August.
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    More about this item


    Economic surplus; Exclusive institution; Malthus’ law; Mycenaean and Minoan economies; Staple and wealth finance systems; Palatial economies.; Community/Rural/Urban Development; Land Economics/Use; N00; O1; P41;

    JEL classification:

    • N00 - Economic History - - General - - - General
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • P41 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform

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