Reference : The Geographical Origins of Early State Formation
Scientific congresses, symposiums and conference proceedings : Unpublished conference
Business & economic sciences : General economics & history of economic thought
The Geographical Origins of Early State Formation
Litina, Anastasia mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF) > Center for Research in Economic Analysis (CREA) >]
Beta Conference
May 2014
[en] State formation ; Climatic Variability ; Land suitability
[en] This research theoretically and empirically advances the hypothesis that in early stages of development land and climatic variability had a persistent beneficial effect on the advent of early statehood. A high degree of diversity, and its association with potential gains from trade accentuated the incentives to develop social, political and physical infrastructure that could facilitate interregional interaction. Hence, the emergence of states, was expedited in more diverse geographical environments. Exploiting exogenous sources of variation in variability in land suitability for agriculture across countries as well as variation in climatic variability within countries over the period 500-1500 CE, the research establishes that: i) the advent of statehood was expedited in regions characterized by a higher degree of variability in agricultural suitability and climatic conditions, ii) the effect of variability on statehood operates through the advancement of medium of exchange and transportation, suggesting that it is the pivotal role of states in facilitating trade that ultimately contributed to their emergence and consolidation, and iii) the effect of land variability on statehood dissipates over time.

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