The conventional theory about the origin of the state is that the adoption of farming led to an increase in productivity, which led to food surplus. Food surplus is held to be a prerequisite for the emergence of hierarchical societies and eventually states. Luigi and his co-authors challenge this theory and propose that hierarchy arose due to the shift to dependence on appropriable cereal grains. Their 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. In this Webinar, Luigi will present several case studies that further support their claims.
About Quantitative History Webinar Series
A new knowledge exchange platform for researchers and students in the field of economic history. Our interactive Webinars help researchers, teachers and students to keep up to date with the latest research in the field. The Quantitative History Webinar Series is co-organized by the Asia Global Institute (AGI) and the Faculty of Business and Economics (HKU Business School) at HKU, and proudly supported by the International Society for Quantitative History.
Convenor: Professor Zhiwu Chen, HKU Business School and Asia Global Institute
Coordinator: Dr. Chicheng Ma, HKU Business School