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Economic Philosophy of Khewa Gul, an Unknown Tribal Economist of 18th Century


  • Gul, Ejaz


While the 18th Century economics is generally characterized by economic philosophy of Adam's Smith, its effects could not fully reach the tribal region of Pakistan. This region has a centuries old history. Far from the modern world, people living in these tribal areas had their own rules of life, social norms and traditions. They had their own laws of economics. Exchange of goods for services was very convenient for them as the real money did not exist. The economics related to construction engineering was one of their expert areas. Khewa Gul was an elder of the tribal society from Naryab (a mountainous area in the north of Pakistan). He was very wise and genius person. He was born on 13 March 1736 and died in 1793. He could not get formal education as it was non existent in the mountains of tribal region. However, he had the urge to guide people with his economic thoughts and philosophy. At the age of 16, he started telling people where they should construct homes and other building and which places were to be avoided for construction due to economic and technical reasons. He strongly believed that in every endevour of human, economics should be considered. He can truly be called as the unknown economic philosopher of 18th Century. His used to say that selection of promising site for construction is essential since it has strong linkage with service life of the project. He created maps which showed the most suitable sites for construction from economics and technical point of view. Since, no printing and reproduction facility was available at that time; he drew sketches and maps on the trees, lather sheets and stones. This research is about validation of an economic suitability map created by Khewa Gul in 18th Century to ascertain whether the map produced by him in 18th Century is correct and valid in 21st Century or not. The area represented in the map is located in Naryab, Pakistan. A detailed research methodology was adopted for this validation. First the soil strength was calculated at few selected points of study area, from which a geotechnical suitability map was prepared for the study area. Similarly, basing on tangible factors like cost of material, soil improvement, labour, maintenance requirements and transportation of material to the site, an economic model was developed for economic evaluation of the site. From this evaluation as economic suitability map was prepared for the study area. Surprisingly, there was close similarity between site suitability map produced by Khewa Gul in 18th Century and geotechnical and economic suitability maps produced after research in 21st Century. This research paper truly presents a valuable and interesting study on economic philosophy and vision of the people in 18th Century.

Suggested Citation

  • Gul, Ejaz, 2013. "Economic Philosophy of Khewa Gul, an Unknown Tribal Economist of 18th Century," MPRA Paper 48374, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:48374

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joel M. Guttman, 2003. "Repeated interaction and the evolution of preferences for reciprocity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 631-656, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ejaz Gul & Imran Sharif Chaudhry, 2014. "Qualitative Assessment of Energy Initiative: Case Study from Liberia," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 4(3), pages 360-372.
    2. Ejaz Gul & Imran Sharif Chaudhry, 2015. "Spatial Distribution of Socio-economic Inequality: Evidence from Inequality Maps of a Village in Tribal Region of Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 54(4), pages 793-808.

    More about this item


    Economic; philosophy; site suitability; map; 18th Century; 21st Century; similarities;

    JEL classification:

    • L74 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Construction
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns

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