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The Chosen FewHow Education Shaped Jewish History, 70-1492$
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Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691144870

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691144870.001.0001

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1492 to Today

1492 to Today

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(p.261) Chapter 10 1492 to Today
The Chosen Few

Maristella Botticini

Zvi Eckstein

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter highlights some puzzles that punctuate Jewish history, from the mass expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492–97 to today. A growing number of scholars have been studying the long-term impact of institutions by illustrating that some contemporary economic patterns have been influenced by institutions that emerged centuries ago. This book contributes to this literature by showing that the transition of the Jews from farming into high-skill occupations has also been the outcome of the availability of contract-enforcement institutions shaped by the unique features of the Jewish religion. Meanwhile, social scientists have always been fascinated by the study of religion and by the influence religious values and norms may have on human behavior. Ultimately, the cultural values and social norms that Judaism fostered two millennia ago shaped the demographic and economic history of the Jewish people through today.

Keywords:   Jewish history, institutions, high-skill occupations, contract-enforcement institutions, Jewish religion, religious values, religious norms, social norms, Judaism

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