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Cereals, Appropriability and Hierarchy

Joram Mayshar, Omer Moav (), Zvika Neeman and Luigi Pascali

No 842, Working Papers from Barcelona Graduate School of Economics

Abstract: We propose that the development of social hierarchy following the Neolithic Revolution was an outcome of the ability of the emergent elite to appropriate cereal crops from farmers and not a result of land productivity, as argued by conventional theory. We argue that cereals are easier to appropriate than roots and tubers, and that regional differences in the suitability of land for different crops explain therefore differences in the formation of hierarchy and states. A simple model illustrates our main theoretical argument. Our empirical investigation shows that land suitability for cereals relative to suitability for tubers explains the formation of hierarchical institutions and states, whereas land productivity does not.

Keywords: geography; hierarchy; institutions; state capacity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D02 D82 H10 O43 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-gro and nep-his
Date: 2015-07
References: View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (5) Track citations by RSS feed

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Related works:
Working Paper: Cereals, Appropriability and Hierarchy (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Cereals, Appropriability and Hierarchy (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Cereals Appropriability and Hierarchy (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Cereals, Appropriability and Hierarchy (2015) Downloads
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