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The Prudent Village: A Corroboration of Kimball's Conjecture


  • Richardson, G.


The prudent peasant mitigated the risk of crop failure by scattering his arable land Throughout his village, McCloskey argued, because formal insurance institutions did not exist. A Village of rational peasants facing idiosyncratic risks, Kimball replied, should have helped each other through hard times. This essay corroborates Kimball's conjecture by providing peasants in medieval England pooled risk through three institutions that fit Kimball's definition of farmers' cooperatives.

Suggested Citation

  • Richardson, G., 1999. "The Prudent Village: A Corroboration of Kimball's Conjecture," Papers 99-00-08, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:calirv:99-00-08

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Milgrom, Paul R, 1988. "Employment Contracts, Influence Activities, and Efficient Organization Design," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 42-60, February.
    2. Ronald Wintrobe, 2001. "How to understand, and deal with dictatorship: an economist's view," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 35-58, March.
    3. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2001. "The Firm as a Dedicated Hierarchy: A Theory of the Origins and Growth of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 805-851.
    4. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
    5. Carmichael, H Lorne, 1988. "Incentives in Academics: Why Is There Tenure?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 453-472, June.
    6. Michelle R. Garfinkel & Stergios Skaperdas, 2000. "Contract or War? On the Consequences of a Broader View of Self-Interest in Economics," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 44(1), pages 5-16, March.
    7. Skaperdas, Stergios & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 1997. "The Distribution of Income in the Presence of Appropriative Activities," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(253), pages 101-117, February.
    8. Wintrobe,Ronald, 1998. "The Political Economy of Dictatorship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521583299, March.
    9. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
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    JEL classification:

    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913


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