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Institutions, taxation, and market relationships in ancient Athens

This paper explores the mutual influence between the institutional development in Athens in the archaic and classical periods and the contemporary changes in economic life. This enhances our understanding of the causes and consequences of institutional change. It is also worth exploring in view of the suggested connections between economic development, markets and democracy. Between 600 and 322 B.C., Athenian society underwent significant institutional change. Rule by a birth aristocracy gave way to (changing) democratic institutions. Political pay was introduced for magistrates, jurors, and assemblymen. Legislation and execution was transferred to the Assembly and to the courts. The nature and extent of taxation changed. In the same period, economic life changed both qualitatively and quantitatively. Trade and specialisation increased, coinage was introduced and self-sufficient farming gradually gave way to reliance on imports and on the market for necessary goods. These changes not only influenced institutional change, they also affected people’s perception of the world. The influence of institutions on the presence and nature of economic transactions is obvious. The influence on institutional change from changes in economic behaviours and outlook seems however potentially equally important.

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File URL: http://project.nek.lu.se/publications/workpap/Papers/WP08_9.pdf
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Paper provided by Lund University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2008:9.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 28 Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2008_009
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund,Sweden
Phone: +46 +46 222 0000
Fax: +46 +46 2224613
Web page: http://www.nek.lu.se/en
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  1. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-50, October.
  2. Fleck, Robert K & Hanssen, F Andrew, 2006. "The Origins of Democracy: A Model with Application to Ancient Greece," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 115-46, April.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2005. "Income and Democracy," NBER Working Papers 11205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lyttkens, Carl Hampus, 2004. "Athens – An Incidental Democracy. A case of unintended consequences of institutional change," Working Papers 2004:19, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 19 Nov 2004.
  5. Carl Lyttkens, 2006. "Reflections on the Origins of the Polis," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 31-48, 03.
  6. Joseph G. Manning, 2004. "Property Rights and Contracting in Ptolemaic Egypt," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 160(4), pages 758-, December.
  7. Walter Scheidel, 2004. "Demographic and Economic Development in the Ancient Mediterranean World," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 160(4), pages 743-, December.
  8. Lindbladh, Eva & Lyttkens, Carl Hampus, 2002. "Habit versus choice: the process of decision-making in health-related behaviour," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 451-465, August.
  9. Ian Morris, 2004. "Economic Growth in Ancient Greece," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 160(4), pages 709-, December.
  10. Greif, Avner, 1994. "On the Political Foundations of the Late Medieval Commercial Revolution: Genoa During the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(02), pages 271-287, June.
  11. Carl Hampus Lyttkens, 1997. "A Rational-Actor Perspective on the Origin of Liturgies in Ancient Greece," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 153(3), pages 462-, September.
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