The Agricultural Revolution, Childe’s Theory of Economic Development as Outlined in Man Makes Himself , and Contemporary Economic Theories

Abstract : This article assesses Childe’s theory of the impact of the commencement of agriculture on Neolithic economic development and its socioeconomic consequences, as outlined in his book Man Makes Himself. It also relates his theory to contemporary views on economic development, paying attention to current theories of sustainable economic development. After providing a biographical note on V. Gordon Childe (an Australian-born archaeologist and anthropologist) and introducing his basic ideas, it examines Childe’s criterion of successful economic development. Subsequently, the essence of Childe’s two-phase model of early agricultural development is summarized and its validity is evaluated. Childe is identified as a Marxist. The influence of Marxism on his life and theories is given careful consideration. It is suggested that contemporary economists should pay greater attention to the ‘big’ history of economic change, as Childe did.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 2:49:36 PM
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Clement Allan Tisdell, Serge Svizzero. The Agricultural Revolution, Childe’s Theory of Economic Development as Outlined in Man Makes Himself , and Contemporary Economic Theories. History of Economics Review, 2019, pp.1-18. ⟨10.1080/10370196.2019.1598252⟩. ⟨hal-02135650⟩

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