The conventional theory about the origin of the state is that the adoption of farming increased land productivity, which led to the production of food surplus. This surplus was a prerequisite for the emergence of tax-levying elites and, eventually, states. We challenge this theory and propose that hierarchy arose as a result of the shift to dependence on appropriable cereal grains. Our empirical investigation, utilizing multiple data sets spanning several millennia, demonstrates a causal effect of the cultivation of cereals on hierarchy, without finding a similar effect for land productivity. We further support our claims with several case studies.

The Origin of the State: Land Productivity or Appropriability? / Mayshar, J.; Moav, O.; Pascali, Luigi. - In: JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY. - ISSN 0022-3808. - 130:4(2022), pp. 1091-1144. [10.1086/718372]

The Origin of the State: Land Productivity or Appropriability?

Pascali L.
2022

Abstract

The conventional theory about the origin of the state is that the adoption of farming increased land productivity, which led to the production of food surplus. This surplus was a prerequisite for the emergence of tax-levying elites and, eventually, states. We challenge this theory and propose that hierarchy arose as a result of the shift to dependence on appropriable cereal grains. Our empirical investigation, utilizing multiple data sets spanning several millennia, demonstrates a causal effect of the cultivation of cereals on hierarchy, without finding a similar effect for land productivity. We further support our claims with several case studies.
2022
The Origin of the State: Land Productivity or Appropriability? / Mayshar, J.; Moav, O.; Pascali, Luigi. - In: JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY. - ISSN 0022-3808. - 130:4(2022), pp. 1091-1144. [10.1086/718372]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11385/237083
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