The Malthusian Trap and Development in Pre-Industrial Societies: A View Differing from the Standard One

Presents a simple economic theory explaining how some agriculturally based preindustrial societies (for example, in the Neolithic period) developed despite most of their population being subject to Malthusian dynamics. Their development depended on a dominant class (limited in size) extracting the economic surplus which could be used (among other things) to accumulate capital and advance knowledge and thereby, add to this surplus. Cities facilitated this process. Extraction of the surplus prevented increased population from dissipating it and curtailing development. Several early extractive and non-inclusive societies were long lasting. This is at odds with the theories of some contemporary development economists.


Issue Date:
Jan 29 2015
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
DOI and Other Identifiers:
ISSN: 1442-8563 (Other)
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/197551
Total Pages:
23
JEL Codes:
O1; P4; N00
Series Statement:
Social Economics, Policy and Development
59




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-26

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