Economics 210a: Fall 2006: Memo Question for November 1
Williams, Style: Toward Clarity and Grace

Econ 210a: Fall 2006: Trade and the Industrious Revolution Major Headings

Oct. 25. Trade and the Industrious Revolution:

Avner Greif (1989), "Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders," Journal of Economic History 49:4 (December), pp. 857-882

  • How is "trade without law" possible?
  • How much "trade without law" can there be?
  • What would Ronald Coase say about this situation?
  • Are game-theoretic models of these kinds of interactions adequate?
    • What if you have no insular, despised ethnic group around?

J. Bradford DeLong and Andrei Shleifer (1993), "Princes and Merchants: City Growth Before the Industrial Revolution," Journal of Law and Economics 36:5 (Oct), pp. 671-702

  • Why isn't monarchy good enough?
    • Hobbes called it "Leviathan"
    • Mancur Olson called it a "stationary bandit"
    • Why do DeLong and Shleifer say that "Leviathan" alone is insufficient?
  • How strong is DLS's empirical evidence, really?
  • Why should "merchants" be different from "princes"?
    • The peculiar status of the European city...
    • Why so few "merchants" elsewhere in the early-modern world?
      • China
      • India
      • Middle East (Ibn Khaldun)

Jan de Vries (1994), "The Industrious Revolution and the Industrial Revolution," Journal of Economic History 54:2 (June), pp. 249-70

  • What, exactly, changes to make the "industrious revolution" possible?
  • What did peasants do in the evening before the "industrious revolution"?
  • What did they do afterwards?
  • How large can these effects plausibly be?
    • What is an "entre-preneur"?

Adam Smith (1776), The Wealth of Nations, Book I and Book V

  • The literature of "political oeconomy"
  • "The system of natural liberty" as a game-changing insight
  • How reliant is Book V on Book I?