IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cwm/wpaper/6.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Poverty Trap in a Tributary Mode of Production: The Peasant Economy of Ethiopia

Author

Listed:
  • Berhanu Abegaz

    () (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary)

Abstract

The paradox of EthiopiaÕs agrarian economy is that, despite underwriting a world civilization, the transition to an industrial economy has eluded it. Using a model of AfroAsiatic tributarism, we attribute this outcome to endemic extractive contests between a predominantly landed peasantry and a titled, prebendary overlord class. The latterÕs strategy of political accumulation inevitably engendered immiserization of overlord and peasant alike by privileging diversion over production. The surplus was then dissipated on unproductive consumption, national defence, and internecine strife. Lacking a strong state to mitigate predation and political instability, the Ethiopian peasant rationally ÔchoseÕ to be efficiently, albeit self-sufficiently, poor.

Suggested Citation

  • Berhanu Abegaz, 2004. "Poverty Trap in a Tributary Mode of Production: The Peasant Economy of Ethiopia," Working Papers 06, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwm:wpaper:6
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://economics.wm.edu/wp/cwm_wp6.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Tennassie Nichola, 2006. "The Food Security Problem In Ethiopia - A Supply Side Analysis," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 74(2), pages 315-322, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ethiopia; feudalism; tributarism; overlordship; landlordship; gebbar system;

    JEL classification:

    • N57 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Africa; Oceania
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • P52 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Studies of Particular Economies

    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:cwm:wpaper:6. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Daifeng He) or (Alfredo Pereira). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/decwmus.html .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.