Economic Systems of Foraging, Agricultural, and Industrial Societies

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Drawing from economics, anthropology, statistics, and history to examine large samples of foraging (hunting, gathering and fishing), agricultural and industrial societies, Frederic L. Pryor isolates their economic systems. He explores why certain societies or nations have one system rather than another, examines the impact of these economic systems on the societies' welfare and studies their development and changes. The book presents a broad framework for understanding economic systems and provides considerable evidence on both preindustrial and industrial systems.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Economic Systems is a grand undertaking."
Timothy Earle, Northwestern University, Journal of Anthropological Research
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521849043
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Frederic L. Pryor, a Senior Research Scholar at Swarthmore College, 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 also 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 Not Working 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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Table of Contents

Part I. Orientation: 1. Introduction; Part II. Foraging Societies: 2. Economic systems of foragers; 3. From foraging to farming; Part III. Agricultural Societies: 4. Economic systems of agriculturalists; 5. From agriculture to industry; Part IV. Industrial/Service Societies: 6. Advanced market economic systems; 7. Systemic changes in advanced market systems; 8. Marxist economic systems; Part V. Final Words: 9. Conclusions and an agenda for future research.

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