The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East

By Timur Kuran | Go to book overview

Notes

CHAPTER 1. THE PUZZLE OF THE MIDDLE EAST’S
ECONOMIC UNDERDEVELOPMENT

1. Maddison, World Economy, pp. 51–52, estimates that in 1000 income levels in Europe were below those of Asia and North Africa.

2. Pamuk, “Urban Real Wages,” tables 2, 3. For further indices, see Zanden, Long Road, pp. 270–74.

3. Pamuk, “Economic Growth since 1820.” According to Angus Maddison’s global per capita income comparisons (Monitoring the World Economy, table 1.3), in 1913 per capita income was $3,482 in the major industrialized countries, as against $979 in Turkey and $508 in Egypt (all in 1990 dollars).

4. Özmucur and Pamuk, “Standards of Living,” table 1; Owen and Pamuk, Middle East Economies, p. 231. For further details on trends in Arab countries in particular, see Rivlin, Arab Economies.

5. For additional comparative statistics, see Rivlin, Arab Economies, especially chap. 4.

6. This definition is drawn from Berman, Law and Revolution, p. 2. Areas subsequently settled largely by westerners, such as North America, became part of the West.

7. The rationale for using this definition is that the analysis focuses on institutions. Muslim expansions into Spain and the Balkans imparted to these lands institutions characteristic of economic life under Islamic rule.

8. For an advanced treatment of the general definition, see Greif, Institutions, especially pp. 14–23.

9. İnalcik, Ottoman Empire, chap. 10; Gerber, State, Society, and Law, chaps. 1–4.

10. Imber, Ebuʾus-Suʿud; Düzdağ, Ebussuûd Efendi Fetvalari.

11. According to Daniel Lerner, an influential modernization theorist, Muslims have had to choose between “Mecca” and “mechanization.” One of their options is to shed conservative attitudes rooted in religion and embark on modernization, another to uphold traditional Islam and remain mired in superstition. See his Passing of Traditional Society, p. 405.

12. Patai, Arab Mind, p. 310; Murray, Human Accomplishment, pp. 399–401.

13. In the World Values Survey, the question about perceived freedom of choice is viewed as an indicator of fatalism. On a 0–10 scale, low values connote fatalism and high values a feeling of self-control. In surveys conducted between 1999 and 2004 (http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org), the range of the means for Arab countries (5.47–7.26) overlapped substantially with those of OECD countries

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