The First Globalization Episode: The Creation of the Mongol Empire, or the Economics of Chinggis Khan

  • Ronald Findlay
  • Mats Lundahl


This chapter applies the empire model to what is arguably the first globalization episode: the creation of the largest territorially continuous empire that the world has so far seen, ranging from Korea to Eastern Europe, by a maximum of 1 million Mongols. The chapter examines the Mongol choice between herding and conquest, arguing that for ecological reasons the marginal return to the former was exceedingly low, which made conquest the superior alternative. It also argues that the Mongol Empire was ‘too small’ in terms of military power, but ‘too large’ in terms of the capacity to administer it.


Cost Curve Thirteenth Century Free Rider Problem Stationary Bandit Golden Horde 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Findlay
    • 1
  • Mats Lundahl
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsStockholm School of Economics and Institute of Latin American Studies Stockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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