Underpinnings of institutions
- This dissertation investigates the role of historical events on institutions. In particular, it provides empirical evidence that the timing of agricultural adoption during the Neolithic Revolution, when humans adopted agriculture for the first time, has a strong inverse relationship with the level of constraints that political executives face in modern periods, such as the extent to which they can raise local tax levels. It also provides evidence that certain cultural traits known to foster economic and institutional development, including the level of participation in local community, beliefs in tolerance, obedience, control in life, trust and parental responsibility, have strong ties back to the Neolithic Revolution. The findings come from analyzing novel vegetation data and carbon dates showing the initial agricultural adoption from various Neolithic archaeological sites, as well as data on the level of executive power and local tax levels in Europe and East Asia. The analysis also uses the World Value Survey in order to compare current cultural differences across geographic regions. The results suggest that the regions adopting agriculture early also developed autocratic, extractive institutions in modern periods, while those adopting agriculture late witnessed democratic, egalitarian institutions. They also show that the respondents in regions which adopted agriculture late are more willing to participate and volunteer in social organizations, take active roles in local communities, and value tolerance, control in life and trust over obedience and parental responsibility. The dissertation interprets the diffusion of Neolithic farmers as one potential explanation for how the Revolution influenced modern institutions. As farmers spread out to new lands during the Neolithic Revolution, they developed strong hunter-gatherer traits, and established institutions as outcomes of past institutions, new environment and smaller population. The institutions in the origin of agriculture therefore differed substantially from the ones in the later settlements. While in the origin, large communities formed centralized political systems with hierarchical orders, later migrants established egalitarian political systems that were more suitable for smaller population and new environment. Once these institutions were established, their differences remained persistent in the long run. The dissertation concludes with a current example of the dynamics between cultural divergence and institutions in China between 1990 and 2000, in which the empirical analysis looks modern ethnic cleavages as manifestations of cultural divergence, and the level of public goods provision as a defining characteristic of institutional performance.
|Type of resource
|electronic; electronic resource; remote
|1 online resource.
|Stanford University, School of Business Administration.
|Malhotra, Neil Ankur
|Malhotra, Neil Ankur
|Statement of responsibility
|Submitted to the School of Business Administration.
|Thesis (Ph. D.)--Stanford University, 2010.
- © 2010 by Christopher Paik
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
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