An Economic Inquiry into the Nonlinear Behaviors of Nations

Dynamic Developments and the Origins of Civilizations

  • Rongxing Guo

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Rongxing Guo
    Pages 1-7
  3. The Paradoxes of Humans, Civilizations and Nations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 9-9
    2. Rongxing Guo
      Pages 11-37
    3. Rongxing Guo
      Pages 39-69
    4. Rongxing Guo
      Pages 71-106
  4. Cultural Cyclicity and the Nonlinear Behaviors of Nations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 137-137
    2. Rongxing Guo
      Pages 139-172
    3. Rongxing Guo
      Pages 173-205
    4. Rongxing Guo
      Pages 207-243
    5. Rongxing Guo
      Pages 245-276
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 277-294

About this book


This book applies an economic approach to examine the driving forces behind the dynamic behaviors of developing nations. Taking into account initial conditions and environmental and external factors often oversimplified by historians and anthropologists, Guo finds that the rise and fall of civilizations and nations followed an anti-Darwinian process: physical weakness, rather than strength, induced humans to adapt. Cultures facing unfavorable physical and environmental conditions developed complex societies to overcome these challenges, while favorable conditions did not incentivize major economic and cultural change. Over centuries of economic growth and development, nations and civilizations’ adaptive behaviors have followed a cyclical path at both the country level and in an international context. This interdisciplinary book incorporates elements of history, anthropology, and development into an astute economic analysis that changes the way we think about the origins and evolutions of civilizations. 


anti-Darwinism cultural complexity national behavior long-run economic growth cyclical civilization

Authors and affiliations

  • Rongxing Guo
    • 1
  1. 1.Peking UniversityBeijingChina

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking