Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 402257
Title The origins of governments: from anarchy to hierarchy
Author(s) Baker, M.J.; Bulte, E.H.; Weisdorf, J.
Source Journal of Institutional Economics 6 (2010)2. - ISSN 1744-1374 - p. 215 - 242.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1744137409990336
Department(s) Development Economics Group
WASS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2010
Keyword(s) nations - organization - societies - model - size
Abstract We analyze development trajectories of early civilizations where population size and technology are endogenous, and derive conditions under which such societies optimally ‘switch’ from anarchy to hierarchy – when it is optimal to elect and support a ruler. The ruler provides an efficient level of law and order, but creams off part of society's surplus for his own consumption. Switching to hierarchy occurs if the state of technology exceeds a threshold value, but societies may also be ‘trapped’ at lower levels of technology, perpetuating conditions of anarchy. We present empirical evidence based on the Standard Cross Cultural Sample that support the model's main predictions.
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