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The Making of the Ancient Greek EconomyInstitutions, Markets, and Growth in the City-States$
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Alain Bresson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691183411

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691183411.001.0001

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The Logic of Growth

The Logic of Growth

(p.199) VIII The Logic of Growth
The Making of the Ancient Greek Economy

Alain Bresson

, Steven Rendall
Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the logic of growth in the Greek city-states. It first considers the relationship between self-consumption and economic growth, focusing on the roles played by self-consumption and the market in agriculture and in the ancient Greek economy more generally. It then explains how the Greek cities managed to become the dominant culture in the Mediterranean between about 700 BCE and 300 BCE after experiencing negative growth at the end of the Bronze Age and probably very slow growth during the Early Iron Age. It also explores the notion that the ancient Greek economy did not manage to achieve “capitalist revolution” or “industrial revolution”; the economic impact of technological innovation; and how innovation is associated with supply and demand. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the transition to modernity, arguing that such transition makes ancient Greece's economic history part of the long history of the western world.

Keywords:   city-states, self-consumption, economic growth, market, Greek economy, capitalist revolution, industrial revolution, technological innovation, supply and demand, modernity

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