Economic Systems of Foraging, Agricultural, and Industrial Societies
Drawing upon the disciplines of economics, anthropology, and history, and employing a newand unified analytic approach, Frederic L. Pryor reformulates in this book the entire field of comparative economic systems. He examines large samples of foraging (hunting, gathering, and fishing), agricultural, and industrial economies to explore four key questions: What are the distinct economic systems found in each group?Why do certain societies or nations have one economic system rather than another?What impact do economic systems have on the performance of the economy? Howdo these economic systems develop and change? The results provide a context that allows us tomove beyond the chaos of case studies and ideological assertions to gain an overviewof the development of economic systems over the millennia. It also raises a series of newanaly tic
and empirical issues that have not hitherto been systematically explored.
Frederic L. Pryor, a Senior Research Scholar at SwarthmoreCollege, is one of the world’s leading specialists in the comparative study of economic systems. His career has spanned both the academic and the consulting worlds. In addition to teaching at Swarthmore, Professor Pryor has been affiliated with the University of California, Stanford, the University of Michigan, Indiana University, and several universities in France and Switzerland. His academic work includes the authorship of twelve books, including Economic Evolution and Structure: The Impact of Complexity on the U.S. Economic System (1996), Who’s NotWorking and Why: Employment, Cognitive Skills,Wages, and the Changing U.S. Labor Market (1999, coauthored with David L. Schaffer), and The Future of U.S. Capitalism (2002), all published by Cambridge University Press. He has also written more than one hundred articles in professional journals, primarily on the comparative study of different economic systems. As an economic consultant and researcher, Professor Pryor has worked at a variety of positions for the World Bank, several departments of the U.S. government, the Danish government, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Soros International Economic Advisory Group in Ukraine, the Hoover Institution, the Brookings Institution, and the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin. He also serves on the boards of several nonprofit institutions.
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