Purpose– The authors begin with an admittedly simplistic statement: “civilization” is best represented by the increased availability of utility providing goods and services. In other words, civilization is synonymous with economic development. The purpose of this paper is to concern three questions. First, how does civilization develop? Second, what is time preference and how does it affect the development of civilization, or what the authors call the “process of civilization.” Third, what factors affect time preference, and how do changes in time preference affect this civilizing process? Through these three questions, the authors provide the theoretical answer to why civilization developed, instead of the more common historical how civilization actually developed. Design/methodology/approach– The authors survey a variety of theories of civilization, and then develop an alternative that answers the question of “how civilization develops” rather than the more common “how did civilization develop.” Findings– Endogenous reductions in time preference are determined to be the best explanation of the spark that instigates the process of civilization. It also allows for other approaches to fall under its umbrella, thus providing one general theory in place of the current-specific theories. Originality/value– The value lies in the creation of a general theory of civilization, against which other theories looking at specific factors can be gauged.
International Journal of Social Economics – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 11, 2016
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera