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Political Legitimacy and Technology Adoption

Author

Listed:
  • Metin M. Cosgel

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Thomas J. Miceli

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Jared Rubin

    (Chapman University)

Abstract

A fundamental question of economic and technological history is why some civilizations adopted new and important technologies and others did not. In this paper, we construct a simple political economy model which suggests that rulers may not accept a productivity-enhancing technology when it negatively affects an agent’s ability to provide the ruler legitimacy. However, when other sources of legitimacy emerge, the ruler will accept the technology as long as the new legitimizing source is not negatively affected. This insight helps explain the initial blocking but eventual accepting of the printing press in the Ottoman Empire and industrialization in Tsarist Russia. JEL Classification: D7, H2, H3, N4, N7, O3, O5, P48, P5, Z12 Key words: Technology, Political Economy, Legitimacy, Tsarist Russia, Ottoman Empire

Suggested Citation

  • Metin M. Cosgel & Thomas J. Miceli & Jared Rubin, 2011. "Political Legitimacy and Technology Adoption," Working papers 2011-28, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2011-28
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cosgel, Metin & Miceli, Thomas & Ahmed, Rasha, 2009. "Law, state power, and taxation in Islamic history," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 704-717, September.
    2. Joerg Baten & Jan Zanden, 2008. "Book production and the onset of modern economic growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 217-235, September.
    3. Jared Rubin, 2011. "Institutions, the Rise of Commerce and the Persistence of Laws: Interest Restrictions in Islam and Christianity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(557), pages 1310-1339, December.
    4. Bridgman, Benjamin R. & Livshits, Igor D. & MacGee, James C., 2007. "Vested interests and technology adoption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 649-666, April.
    5. James A. Robinson & Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Political Losers as a Barrier to Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 126-130, May.
    6. Steven Nafziger, 2008. "Democracy Under the Tsars? The Case of the Zemstvo," Department of Economics Working Papers 2008-23, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    7. Canton, Erik J. F. & de Groot, Henri L. F. & Nahuis, Richard, 2002. "Vested interests, population ageing and technology adoption," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 631-652, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Coşgel, Metin & Histen, Matthew & Miceli, Thomas J. & Yıldırım, Sadullah, 2018. "State and religion over time," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 20-34.
    2. Chaudhary, Latika & Rubin, Jared, 2016. "Religious identity and the provision of public goods: Evidence from the Indian Princely States," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 461-483.
    3. Coşgel, Metin M. & Hwang, Jungbin & Miceli, Thomas J. & Yıldırım, Sadullah, 2019. "Religiosity: Identifying the effect of pluralism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 219-235.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    technology; political economy; legitimacy; tsarist russia; ottoman empire;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • N4 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation
    • N7 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O5 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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