IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/10843.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Islam, Inequality and Pre-Industrial Comparative Development

Author

Listed:
  • Naghavi, Alireza
  • Michalopoulos, Stelios
  • Prarolo, Giovanni

Abstract

This study explores the interaction between trade and geography in shaping the Islamic economic doctrine. We build a model where an unequal distribution of land quality in presence of trade opportunities conferred differential gains from trade across regions, fostering predatory behavior by groups residing in the poorly endowed territories. We show that in such an environment it was mutually beneficial to institute an economic system of income redistribution featuring income transfers in return for safe passage to conduct trade. A commitment problem, however, rendered a merely static redistribution scheme unsustainable. Islam developed a set of dynamic redistributive rules that were self-enforcing, in regions where arid lands dominated the landscape. While such principles fostered the expansion of trade within the Muslim world they limited the accumulation of wealth by the commercial elite, shaping the economic trajectory of Islamic lands in the pre-industrial era.

Suggested Citation

  • Naghavi, Alireza & Michalopoulos, Stelios & Prarolo, Giovanni, 2015. "Islam, Inequality and Pre-Industrial Comparative Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 10843, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10843
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://cepr.org/publications/DP10843
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth across Countries," Scholarly Articles 3708464, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2009. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 531-596.
    3. 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.
    4. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2004. "From Physical to Human Capital Accumulation: Inequality and the Process of Development," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 1001-1026.
    5. Gilat Levy & Ronny Razin, 2012. "Religious Beliefs, Religious Participation, and Cooperation," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 121-151, August.
    6. Jared Rubin, 2009. "Social Insurance, Commitment, and the Origin of Law: Interest Bans in Early Christianity," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(4), pages 761-786, November.
    7. Stelios Michalopoulos, 2012. "The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1508-1539, June.
    8. La Porta, Rafael & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "Legal Determinants of External Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1131-1150, July.
    9. Galor, Oded & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1997. "The Distribution of Human Capital and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 93-124, March.
    10. Ahmed, Habib, 2004. "Role of Zakah and Awqaf in Poverty Alleviation (Occasional Paper)," Occasional Papers 201, The Islamic Research and Teaching Institute (IRTI).
    11. Anderson, James E. & Bandiera, Oriana, 2006. "Traders, cops and robbers," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 197-215, September.
    12. Chaudhuri,K. N., 1985. "Trade and Civilisation in the Indian Ocean," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521285421.
    13. Jared Rubin, 2011. "Institutions, the Rise of Commerce and the Persistence of Laws: Interest Restrictions in Islam and Christianity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(557), pages 1310-1339, December.
    14. Botticini, Maristella & Eckstein, Zvi, 2005. "Jewish Occupational Selection: Education, Restrictions, or Minorities?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(4), pages 922-948, December.
    15. Chaudhuri,K. N., 1985. "Trade and Civilisation in the Indian Ocean," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521242264.
    16. Jason A. Aimone & Laurence R. Iannaccone & Michael D. Makowsky & Jared Rubin, 2013. "Endogenous Group Formation via Unproductive Costs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1215-1236.
    17. Stelios Michalopoulos & Alireza Naghavi & Giovanni Prarolo, 2012. "Trade and Geography in the Origins and Spread of Islam," Working Papers 2012-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    18. Rachel M. McCleary & Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Religion and Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 49-72, Spring.
    19. Glaeser, Edward L & Scheinkman, Jose, 1998. "Neither a Borrower nor a Lender Be: An Economic Analysis of Interest Restrictions and Usury Laws," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 1-36, April.
    20. Filipe Campante & David Yanagizawa-Drott, 2015. "Editor's Choice Does Religion Affect Economic Growth and Happiness? Evidence from Ramadan," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(2), pages 615-658.
    21. Graziella Bertocchi, 2006. "The Law of Primogeniture and the Transition from Landed Aristocracy to Industrial Democracy," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 43-70, March.
    22. Robert J. Barro & Rachel McCleary, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 9682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Pryor, Frederic L., 2007. "The Economic Impact of Islam on Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 1815-1835, November.
    24. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2005. "The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 546-579, June.
    25. Maristella Botticini & Zvi Eckstein, 2007. "From Farmers to Merchants, Conversions and Diaspora: Human Capital and Jewish History," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(5), pages 885-926, September.
    26. Çizakça, Murat, 1998. "Awqaf In History And Its Implications For Modern Islamic Economies," Islamic Economic Studies, The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), vol. 6, pages 43-70.
    27. Shleifer, Andrei & La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-De-Silanes, Florencio & Vishny, Robert W., 1997. "Legal Determinants of External Finance," Scholarly Articles 30728041, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    28. Babacan, Mehmet, 2011. "Economics of Philanthropic Institutions, Regulation and Governance in Turkey," MPRA Paper 57829, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    29. Filipe Campante & David Yanagizawa-Drott, 2013. "Does Religion Affect Economic Growth and Happiness? Evidence from Ramadan," CID Working Papers 274, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    30. Kuran, Timur, 2003. "The Islamic Commercial Crisis: Institutional Roots of Economic Underdevelopment in the Middle East," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 414-446, June.
    31. Xavier Sala-I-Martin & Gernot Doppelhofer & Ronald I. Miller, 2004. "Determinants of Long-Term Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 813-835, September.
    32. Iannaccone, Laurence R, 1992. "Sacrifice and Stigma: Reducing Free-Riding in Cults, Communes, and Other Collectives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 271-291, April.
    33. Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2008. "Religion, politics, and development: Lessons from the lands of Islam," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 329-351, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Islam, trade and development
      by nawmsayn in ZeeConomics on 2014-11-30 19:02:06

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Noel D. Johnson, 2018. "Geospatial Information Systems," Palgrave Studies in Economic History, in: Matthias Blum & Christopher L. Colvin (ed.), An Economist’s Guide to Economic History, chapter 49, pages 425-432, Palgrave Macmillan.
    2. Eswaran, Mukesh, 2018. "Decentralized Terrorism and Social Identity," Microeconomics.ca working papers tina_marandola-2018-4, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 06 Jun 2018.
    3. Siwan Anderson & Chris Bidner, 2021. "An Institutional Perspective on the Economics of the Family," Discussion Papers dp21-14, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    4. Anastasia Litina, 2016. "Natural land productivity, cooperation and comparative development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 351-408, December.
    5. Alberto Bisin & Jared Rubin & Avner Seror & Thierry Verdier, 2021. "Culture, Institutions & the Long Divergence," NBER Working Papers 28488, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Coşgel, Metin & Histen, Matthew & Miceli, Thomas J. & Yıldırım, Sadullah, 2018. "State and religion over time," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 20-34.
    7. Ooi, Chai-Aun & Hooy, Chee-Wooi, 2022. "Muslim CEOs, risk-taking and firm performance," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    8. Samuel Bazzi & Gabriel Koehler-Derrick & Benjamin Marx, 2020. "The Institutional Foundations of Religious Politics: Evidence from Indonesia [“The Classical Islamic Law of Waqf: A Concise Introduction”]," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 135(2), pages 845-911.
    9. Xu, Kun, 2015. "城市水基础设施与地区收入差异分析 [Study On the Relationship Between Water Infrastructure in Urban and Regional Income Difference]," MPRA Paper 71077, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Skali, Ahmed, 2017. "Moralizing gods and armed conflict," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 184-198.
    11. Becker, Sascha O. & Pfaff, Steven, 2022. "Church and State in historical political economy," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1409, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    12. Andrew Dickens, 2022. "Understanding Ethnolinguistic Differences: The Roles of Geography and Trade," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 132(643), pages 953-980.
    13. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/68bdjcjoob8kh8nu5vcmetkbf3 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Amjad Naveed & Cong Wang, 2018. "Can religion explain cross-country differences in inequality? A global perspective," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 50(3), pages 481-518, March.
    15. Bahrami-Rad, Duman, 2021. "Keeping it in the family: Female inheritance, inmarriage, and the status of women," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C).
    16. repec:hal:wpspec:info:hdl:2441/68bdjcjoob8kh8nu5vcmetkbf3 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/71lh5oncqk84tbb1d1a8gujtq6 is not listed on IDEAS

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Stelios Michalopoulos & Alireza Naghavi & Giovanni Prarolo, 2010. "Trade and Geography in the Economic Origins of Islam: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 2010.75, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    2. Méon, Pierre-Guillaume & Tojerow, Ilan, 2019. "The minority ethic: Rethinking religious denominations, minority status, and educational achievement across the globe," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 196-214.
    3. Hornung, Erik & Schwerdt, Guido & Strazzeri, Maurizio, 2023. "Religious practice and student performance: Evidence from Ramadan fasting," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 205(C), pages 100-119.
    4. Sriya Iyer, 2016. "The New Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(2), pages 395-441, June.
    5. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Ilan Tojerow, 2016. "In God We Learn? Religions’ Universal Messages, Context-Specific Effects, and Minority Status," Working Papers CEB 2013/233535, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Nunn, Nathan, 2014. "Historical Development," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 7, pages 347-402, Elsevier.
    7. Matthias Basedau & Simone Gobien & Sebastian Prediger, 2018. "The Multidimensional Effects Of Religion On Socioeconomic Development: A Review Of The Empirical Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(4), pages 1106-1133, September.
    8. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Ilan Tojerow, 2018. "In God We Learn? The Universal Messages of Religions, their Context-Specific Effects, and the role of Minority Status," Working Papers CEB 16-036, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. Yaron Zelekha & Gil Avnimelech & Eyal Sharabi, 2014. "Religious institutions and entrepreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 747-767, April.
    10. Martin A. Leroch & Carlo Reggiani & Gianpaolo Rossini & Eugenio Zucchelli, 2014. "Religious Attitudes and Home Bias: Theory and New Evidence from Primary Data," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 401-414, May.
    11. Esteban, Joan & Levy, Gilat & Mayoral, Laura, 2019. "Personal liberties, religiosity, and effort," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 120(C).
    12. Jeanet Sinding Bentzen & Gunes Gokmen, 2023. "The power of religion," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 45-78, March.
    13. Jared Rubin, 2014. "Printing and Protestants: An Empirical Test of the Role of Printing in the Reformation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(2), pages 270-286, May.
    14. Lo Turco, Alessia & Maggioni, Daniela, 2018. "Effects of Islamic religiosity on bilateral trust in trade: The case of Turkish exports," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 947-965.
    15. Samuel Bazzi & Gabriel Koehler-Derrick & Benjamin Marx, 2020. "The Institutional Foundations of Religious Politics: Evidence from Indonesia [“The Classical Islamic Law of Waqf: A Concise Introduction”]," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 135(2), pages 845-911.
    16. Baele, L. & Farooq, M. & Ongena, S., 2012. "Of Religion and Redemption : Evidence from Default on Islamic Loans (Replaces CentER DP 2010-136)," Discussion Paper 2012-014, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    17. Thomas Barnebeck Andersen & Jeanet Bentzen & Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Paul Sharp, 2010. "Religious Orders and Growth through Cultural Change in Pre-Industrial England," DEGIT Conference Papers c015_036, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    18. Liu, Xianda & Hou, Wenxuan & Main, Brian G.M., 2022. "Anti-market sentiment and corporate social responsibility: Evidence from anti-Jewish pogroms," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
    19. repec:hal:wpspec:info:hdl:2441/68bdjcjoob8kh8nu5vcmetkbf3 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Seror, Avner, 2018. "A theory on the evolution of religious norms and economic prohibition," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 416-427.
    21. Roland Hodler & Paul Raschky & Anthony Strittmatter, 2018. "Religion and Terrorism: Evidence from Ramadan Fasting," Papers 1810.09869, arXiv.org, revised Mar 2020.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conflict; Geography; Inequality and land quality; Islam; Public good investment; Religion; Trade; Wealth accumulation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10843. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: the person in charge (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.cepr.org .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.