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New Perspectives on Factor Markets and Ancient Middle Eastern Economies: A Survey

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AbstractThe conventional view of markets for land, labour, and capital as a modern, Western phenomenon is questionable. Factor markets did indeed exist in Iraq, and even thrived, in various parts of its pre-modern history, including the period around 2000 bce, the “long” sixth century (c. 620-480 bce), and the eighth and ninth centuries ce. By employing the long-term approach used in this issue of jesho and by placing the organization of these markets in their wider social-political context, we can understand better how these markets developed, how they functioned, and why they rose and declined again.

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