From the conference

The 15th World Economic History conference is reaching its end, I’ll post more about it later, just taking a 5 minutes break to post about a wonderful project that was presented here by the young Italian scholar Andrea Matranga from the Toulouse School of Economic. He was kind (smart) enough to put his research on the web, here it is, simply brilliant.

It’s really pleasant to see young researchers dwelling into brand new suject. Of course, there is always some old bore to complain, but lets not pay attention to them, forza Matranga.

4 Responses to From the conference

  1. Very nice !

    I wonder though if economic historians do not use the Neolithic transition to unleash their historical materialism a bit too much… Some nice questions to ask in this whole debate would be : who took the decision ? What were the institutions ? Did new gods arise after or before ?…

  2. Ben says:

    Well he is an economist and arguably that’s what the dismal science does. Admittedly prehistorical subjects are perfect for the more positivist approach of history since “soft” institutions have been washed away and solely the material goods remain. However I am not quite sure how new gods could lead to sedentarization.

    I hope everything’s fine on you side. We missed you in Utrecht. No one destroys bad math and poor reasoning quite as you do. We could have done quite a few time with your terminator technique.

  3. Thank you for the kind words. I regret not having been there anyway…

    The new gods idea comes from Jacques Cauvin “Naissance des divinités, naissance de l’agriculture”. I never recovered from reading the book :)

  4. Hey, thanks for the comments!

    About religion I just wanted to say that I think it probably played an interesting part.

    I tend to think of such things in evolutionary terms, so I would say that a new religion may have pushed people to adopt settlement, but that the switch was only successful because conditions had changed to make it advantageous.

    Perhaps similar shifts had happened countless times before, but given the unfavorable conditions, they didn’t spread.

    And for the record, I’m starting the M2 in Toulouse this september, but this work was done for my Master Thesis at Pompeu Fabra, where Prof Voth is my advisor.

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