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Title: The Genesis of Economic Cooperation in the Stories of Joseph: A Constitutional and Institutional Economic Reconstruction
Authors: Wagner-Tsukamoto, Sigmund
First Published: 17-Apr-2015
Publisher: Routledge / Taylor & Francis
Citation: Scandinavinan Journal of the Old Testament, 2015, 29 (1), pp. 33-54 (22)
Abstract: The paper analyzes in constitutional and institutional economic terms Joseph’s economic policies, such as changes to property rights arrangements for farming, the introduction of a barter tax on crop production, and the multi-layered bureaucratic hierarchies of Egypt. Utilizing Buchanan’s approach to constitutional economics, I argue that these policies lowered attack/defense costs as they arise, when a group attempts to escape from the natural distribution state (the “war of all”, as Hobbes called it). A key thesis is that this encouraged interacting parties, already on the grounds of self-interested choice, to engage in societal contracting out of the “war of all,” thereby reaping mutual gains. Complementary to this strand of analysis, I have drawn on other institutional economic concepts, particularly those that were introduced by Williamson, and by North and Weingast. The paper argues in this respect that Joseph’s policies credibly and more reliably guaranteed property rights, which in turn lowered attack/defense costs and transaction costs of the interacting parties, i.e. Egypt and Israel. This ultimately yielded mutual gains and high economic performance for the society depicted in Genesis. In this way, cooperation was generated in economic terms.
DOI Link: 10.1080/09018328.2015.1025544
ISSN: 0901-8328
eISSN: 1502-7244
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website. The Version of Record of this manuscript has been published and is available in Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 17 April 2015
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Management

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