Robinson harvard the emergence of modern economic

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Unformatted text preview: griculture because it was based on families and kin and lacked centralized political authority? Farming began when the political James A. Robinson (Harvard) The Emergence of Modern Economic Growth: A Comparative and Historical Analysis September 23, 2009 14 / 21 The Lele and the Bushong Let’ move to the Congo for a potential model of the transition to s farming. “The Lele and the Bushong are separated only by the Kasai River. The two tribes recognize a common origin, their houses, clothes and crafts are similar in style, their languages are closely related. Yet the Lele are poor, while the Bushong are rich .. Everything that the Lele have or can do, the Bushong have more and can do better” Mary Douglas (1962, p. 211) James A. Robinson (Harvard) The Emergence of Modern Economic Growth: A Comparative and Historical Analysis September 23, 2009 15 / 21 Ethnic Groups of the Congo Source: Vansina, Jan (1978) The Children of Woot: A History of the Kuba Peoples, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. The Lele and the Bushong The Lele use inferior technology, for instance they do not use nets for hunting “the absence of nets is consistent with a general Lele tendency not to invest time and labor in long-term equipment” (p. 216) “Their eager purchase of …rearms .. Shows their culture does not restrict them to inferior techniques when these do not require long-term collaboration and e¤ort.” (p. 216) Agricultural productivity: “The Bushong plant …ve crops in succession in a system of rotation that covers two years. They grow yams, sweet potatoes, manioc, beans, and gather two and sometimes three maize harvests a year. The Lele practice no rotation and reap only one annual maize harvest” (p. 219) James A. Robinson (Harvard) The Emergence of Modern Economic Growth: A Comparative and Historical Analysis September 23, 2009 16 / 21 What is Going on? “If we wish to understand why the Lele work less, we need to consider whether any social factors inhibit them from exploiting their resources to the utmost” (p. 224) Dougl...
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This document was uploaded on 02/28/2014 for the course ECON 2328 at Harvard.

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