Some Interesting Recent Papers

  1. Why did the first states emerge? This paper argues that the traditional view that the ability to store an agricultural surplus allowed the rise of the state is incorrect for Malthusian reasons.  Instead, they argue that the state first emerged when an increase in the transparency of agricultural production made it possible for a military elite to violently extract resources from farmers.
  2. Can game theory give us insights into online markets for stolen credit cards? Andrew Mell argues that trade between data thieves and data monetizers relies on a multilateral reputation-based enforcement mechanism. He goes on to suggest how policymakers could take actions that would cause this mechanism to unravel. 
  3. Is veiling a rational strategy? This paper by Jean-Paul Carvalho develops an interesting theory that may shed light on the revival of veiling amongst certain Muslim communities in the past thirty years. 


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