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Comparative Economic History

Gerard Roland ()
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Gerard Roland: University of California, Berkeley

Chapter 6 in The Palgrave Handbook of Comparative Economics, 2021, pp 121-157 from Springer

Abstract: Abstract We explore in this chapter a new direction in comparative economics: comparative economic history. Building on research by archeologists and economic historians, we survey some of the work on differences in institutions in the ancient past. We report on a novel data-gathering exercise on institutions in antiquity, finding two clear clusters: with some systems we call “statist” systems, like in ancient Egypt or China, which relied on some form of central planning in the allocation of resources, with very little private property, while other societies had thriving market systems with strong private property rights. The difference between these institutions in antiquity can be related to differences between individualist and collectivist cultures that play an important role in the modern world.

Keywords: Economic history; Culture; Institutions; Individualism; Collectivism; Property rights (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N00 P40 P50 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-50888-3_6

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