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Cereals Appropriability and Hierarchy

Author

Listed:
  • Mayshary, Joram

    (Department of Economics, Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

  • Moav, Omer

    (Department of Economics University of Warwick, School of Economics Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya,)

  • Neeman, Zvika

    (Eitan Berglas School of Economics, Tel-Aviv University,)

  • Pascali, Luigi

    (Pompeu Fabra University, University of Warwick and CAGE)

Abstract

We propose that the development of social hierarchy following the Neolithic Revolution was an outcome of the ability of the emergent elite to appropriate cereal crops from farmers and not a result of land productivity, as argued by conventional theory. We argue that cereals are easier to appropriate than roots and tubers, and that regional differences in the suitability of land for different crops explain therefore differences in the formation of hierarchy and states. A simple model illustrates our main theoretical argument. Our empirical investigation shows that land suitability for cereals relative to suitability for tubers explains the formation of hierarchical institutions and states, whereas land productivity does not.

Suggested Citation

  • Mayshary, Joram & Moav, Omer & Neeman, Zvika & Pascali, Luigi, 2015. "Cereals Appropriability and Hierarchy," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 238, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:238
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    File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/manage/publications/238.2015.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Anastasia Litina, 2014. "The Geographical Origins of Early State Formation," CREA Discussion Paper Series 14-28, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    2. James Fenske, 2014. "Ecology, Trade, And States In Pre-Colonial Africa," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 612-640, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mehrdad Vahabi, 2017. "A critical survey of the resource curse literature through the appropriability lens," CEPN Working Papers 2017-14, Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord.
    2. repec:eee:eecrev:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:236-256 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Mayshar, Joram & Moav, Omer & Neeman, Zvika, 2017. "Geography, Transparency, and Institutions," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 111(03), pages 622-636, August.
    4. repec:kap:jecgro:v:23:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10887-017-9152-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:anr:reveco:v:10:y:2018:p:383-410 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ernesto Dal Bó & Pablo Hernández & Sebastián Mazzuca, 2015. "The Paradox of Civilization: Pre-Institutional Sources of Security and Prosperity," NBER Working Papers 21829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2018. "Spatial Patterns of Development: A Meso Approach," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 10(1), pages 383-410, August.
    8. Hugh-Jones, David & Perroni, Carlo, 2017. "The logic of costly punishment reversed: Expropriation of free-riders and outsiders," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 112-130.
    9. Oded Galor & Marc Klemp, 2015. "Roots of Autocracy," Working Papers 2015-7, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    10. Giampaolo Lecce & Laura Ogliari & Tommaso Orlando, 2017. "Resistance to Institutions and Cultural Distance: Brigandage in Post-Unification Italy," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2097, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    11. Oded Galor & Viacheslav Savitskiy, 2018. "Climatic Roots of Loss Aversion," NBER Working Papers 25273, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. repec:nea:journl:y:2017:i:34:p:176-181 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Oana Borcan & Ola Olsson & Louis Putterman, 2018. "State history and economic development: evidence from six millennia," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 1-40, March.
    14. Dittmar, Jeremiah & Meisenzahl, Ralf, 2017. "State Capacity and Public Goods: Institutional Change, Human Capital, and Growth in Historic Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 12037, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Athey, Susan & Calvano, Emilio & Jha, Saumitra, 2016. "A Theory of Community Formation and Social Hierarchy," Research Papers 3467, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    16. Zhu, J., 2018. "The agricultural root of innovation in China," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277219, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    17. Ang, James B. & Fredriksson, Per G., 2017. "Wheat agriculture and family ties," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 236-256.
    18. repec:kap:pubcho:v:175:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-018-0533-5 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Geography ; Hierarchy ; Institutions ; State Capacity JEL Classification: D02 ; D82 ; H10 ; O43;

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth

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