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Journal of Economic Literature - Book Review

JEL Volume. 51, Issue 1 | leftPrevious Review

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Book(s) Reviewed

The Chosen Few: How Education Shaped Jewish History, 70-1492 by Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein

Published By: Princeton Economic History of the Western World series. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 978-0-691-14487-0
Date of Publication: 2012


Book Review Detail

Reviewed by: Peter Temin of Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Review DOI: 10.1257/jel.51.1.190.r15
Review Pages: 215-18

Book Review Abstract

Peter Temin of Massachusetts Institute of Technology reviews, "The Chosen Few: How Education Shaped Jewish History, 70-1492" by Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein. The Econlit abstract of this book begins: "Explores the economic and demographic history of the Jewish people between the years 70–1492. Discusses 70 CE–1492—how many Jews there were, and where and how they lived; whether the Jews were a persecuted minority; the people of the Book, 200 BCE–200 CE; the economics of Hebrew literacy in a world of farmers; Jews in the Talmud era, 200–650—the chosen few; the move from farmers to merchants, 750–1150; educated wandering Jews, 800–1250; segregation or choice—from merchants to moneylenders, 1000–1500; the Mongol shock—whether Judaism can survive when trade and urban economies collapse; and 1492 to today—open questions. Botticini is Professor of Economics and Director and Fellow of the Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research at Bocconi University. Eckstein is Mario Henrique Simonson Chair in Labor Economics at Tel Aviv University and Professor and Dean of the School of Economics at IDC Herzliya. Bibliography; index."


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Book Review Authors

Peter Temin of Massachusetts Institute of Technology


JEL Classifications

I20: Education and Research Institutions: General
N30: Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Religion, and Wealth: General, International, or Comparative
Z12: Cultural Economics: Religion


Journal of Economic Literature


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