ark building and economic development: bringing the flood by back in
University of Nancago
Abstract: Recent scholarship by economists draws attention to the link between population movement and development. As Acemogulo and others have argued, economic growth is strongly correlated with the colonization of the new world by European settlers. This paper offers an alternative explanation based on recent scholarship in historical sociology. The pattern of economic development seen in the present day global economy is not due to patterns of colonization and transmission of state institutions. Rather, we argue that economic development should be attributed to massive reconstruction efforts occuring in the pre-delguian period. After situating our argument in the literature on divinic isomorphism theory, we argue that economic development is most likely to occur in places that are the nexus of transnational capital flows that bolstered the pre-delugian naval industry. Using recently discovered data from the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Encyclopedia Brittanica, we show that GDP is highly correlated with being centrally located in international ship building networks that arose as the population needed to create vessels for themselves and the local fauna for the Great Evacuation effort.
This theory explains a series of stylized facts about global patterns of development. First, the civilizations with the highest level of development are those with great sailing traditions, such as the British Isles and the Maldives Islands. Second, the most economically developed nations often have the cutest animals, such as Chinese pandas. Cute national symbols indicate superior ark building capacity that allowed the most charismatic megafauna to be saved for posterity. Third, it explains the somewhat puzzling slapfest between development theorists Gregory Clark and Giovanni Arrighi. It’s clearly the case that Clark’s theory of the rise of capitalism ignores the need for ark industry leaders to double up on zebras and geckos, while Arrighi has not considered the application of world system theory to the exploitative relationship between ark owners and ship builders, most of whom were not granted space on the arks they built.
In conclusion, we argue that development theory needs to “bring the flood back in.” Only by understanding how post-lapsarian societies responded to the oncoming deluge can we fully understand the dispersion of the human population and its subsequent economic development. Future research can explore unanswered issues in biblical historical econo-sociology such as the declining price of wine, bread and fish in Galilee during the ministry of Jesus and the abrupt end of the illicit urban sex industry in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.