hunters, gatherers, cities and evolution

Paul Seabright
From The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition, 2008
Edited by Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume
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Abstract

Human beings evolved in hunter-gatherer bands, and tended to flee from or to fight with strangers. They have subsequently learned to live in cities among a multitude of such strangers, at levels of violence far lower than those that characterized prehistory. The key to this development was the adoption of agriculture, which obliged humans to become sedentary to and to develop institutions to manage their encounters with strangers. We describe the evolution of the psychological preconditions for the agricultural revolution, and its consequences for social life.
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How to cite this article

Seabright, Paul. "hunters, gatherers, cities and evolution." The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Second Edition. Eds. Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online. Palgrave Macmillan. 31 October 2014 <http://www.dictionaryofeconomics.com/article?id=pde2008_H000163> doi:10.1057/9780230226203.0757

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