Must-See: Omer Moav: Geography, Transparency, and Institutions: “April 25 | 4:10-5:30 p.m. | 639 Evans Hall…

…We propose a theory by which geographic variations explain cross-regional institutional differ- ences in: (1) the scale of the state, (2) the distribution of power in the state hierarchy, and (3) farmers’ property rights over land. The mechanism underlying our theory is based on the effect of geography on transparency of farming, which in turn determines the state’s extractive capacity. We apply our theory to explain differences in the institutions of Egypt, Southern Mesopotamia and Northern Mesopotamia in antiquity.