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In Good Company: About Agency and Economic Development in Global Perspective

  • Jan Luiten van Zanden

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Universities of Utrech and Stellenbosch)

The paper discusses some evidence, based on a review of new literature on economic history, about what is referred to as the Sen-hypothesis, that increasing human agency (of both men and women) is a key factor in economic development. It briefly discusses various dimensions of agency (or its absence): slavery (as the absolute suppression of human agency), access to markets, agency concerning marriage, and political participation. This concept perhaps also allows economic historians to move beyond the historical determinism that is central to much recent work in this field.

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File URL: http://www.ekon.sun.ac.za/wpapers/2011/wp232011/wp-23-2011.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 23/2011.

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Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers151
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  1. Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "Slavery, Inequality, and Economic Development in the Americas: An Examination of the Engerman-Sokoloff Hypothesis," MPRA Paper 4080, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Tine De Moor & Jan Luiten Van Zanden, 2010. "Girl power: the European marriage pattern and labour markets in the North Sea region in the late medieval and early modern period -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 63(1), pages 1-33, 02.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  4. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521761734 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Edward Glaeser & Giacomo Ponzetto & Andrei Shleifer, 2007. "Why does democracy need education?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 77-99, June.
  6. Jan Luiten van Zanden & Jaco Zuijderduijn & Tine De Moor, 2012. "Small is beautiful: the efficiency of credit markets in the late medieval Holland," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 3-22, February.
  7. Bosker, Maarten & Buringh, Eltjo & Van Zanden, Jan Luiten, 2010. "The Rise and Decline of European Parliaments, 1188-1789," CEPR Discussion Papers 7809, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Coşgel, Metin, 2011. "The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East. By Timur Kuran. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010. Pp.xvi, 405. $29.95, hardcover," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 71(04), pages 1114-1116, December.
  9. Daron Acemoglu & María Angélica Bautista & Pablo Querubín & James A. Robinson, 2007. "Economic and Political Inequality in Development: The Case of Cundinamarca, Colombia," NBER Working Papers 13208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jaco Zuijderduijn & Tine De Moor & Jan Luiten van Zanden, 2011. "Small is beautiful. On the efficiency of credit markets in late medieval Holland," Working Papers 0011, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
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