Barlow, Renee and Phillips, Kerk L. (2010): Simple Financial Economic Models of Fremont Maize Storage and an Assessment of External Threat.
Download (193Kb) | Preview
This paper presents a pair of models of the storage of maize. One is directly based on standard financial models of portfolio choice. Rather than optimally balancing a financial portfolio by choosing from a variety of financial instruments, our agents optimize holdings of maize by choosing from a variety of storage locations. Agents face a tradeoff between the effort of transporting maize to high elevation granaries versus the safety they offer from theft. The second model uses a multi-period framework to look at the costs and benefits of building a granary in the first place. We use our models to extract a perceived probability of maize theft by outsiders among the Fremont Indians that lived in eastern Utah roughly 1700 - 700 years ago. We base our estimates on the caloric content of maize, the caloric cost of transporting it to granaries high above the valley floor where the maize was grown, and the costs of building and maintaining them. Our calculations show that a fairly low level of risk, on the order of 5% to 20%, could easily rationalize the use of cliff granaries.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||Simple Financial Economic Models of Fremont Maize Storage and an Assessment of External Threat|
|Keywords:||Fremont; grain; maize; storage; external threat; financial models|
|Subjects:||Z - Other Special Topics > Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology
G - Financial Economics > G2 - Financial Institutions and Services > G29 - Other
N - Economic History > N2 - Financial Markets and Institutions > N20 - General, International, or Comparative
N - Economic History > N0 - General > N00 - General
|Depositing User:||Kerk Phillips|
|Date Deposited:||02. Oct 2010 21:42|
|Last Modified:||20. Feb 2013 06:45|
Barlow, K. Renee. (2002) “Predicting Maize Agriculture among the Fremont: An Economic Comparison of Farming and Foraging in the American Southwest.” American Antiquity, Vol. 67, No. 1 (Jan., 2002), pp. 65-88.
Barlow, K. Renee. (2006) “A Formal Model for Predicting Agriculture among the Fremont” in Foraging Theory and the Transition to Agriculture, Douglas J. Kennett and Bruce Winterhalder, editors. University of California Press.
Barlow, K. Renee. (2010) “Farming and Foraging in Range Creek: Shifting Strategies of Maize Cultivation, Residential Mobility and Remote Storage in Cliff Granaries among the Fremont of the Northern Colorado Plateau.” Mimeo.
Barlow, K. Renee, Penny R. Henriksen and Duncan Metcalfe (1993) “Estimating load size in the Great Basin: data from conical burden baskets.” Utah Archaeology vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 27-37.
Barlow, K. Renee, Ronald H. Towner and Matthew W. Salzer (2008) “The Fremont Granaries of Range Creek: Defensive Maize Storage on the Northern Colorado Plateau.” Mimeo.
Benirschka, Martin and James K. Binkley (1995) “Optimal Storage and Marketing over Space and Time.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 77, No. 3 pp. 512-524. Binswanger, Hans P. (1980) “Attitudes toward Risk: Experimental Measurement in Rural India.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 62, No. 3, pp. 395-407.
Markowitz, H. M. (1952a) “Portfolio selection.” Journal of Finance, Vol. 7, pp. 77–91.
Markowitz, H. M. (1952b) “The utility of wealth,.” Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 60, pp. 151–158.
Markowitz, H. M. (199) Portfolio Selection: Efficient Diversification of Investments John Wiley: New York.
McCloskey, Donald N. and John Nash (1984) “Corn at Interest: The Extent and Cost of Grain Storage in Medieval England.” American Economic Review, Vol. 74, No. 1 pp. 174-187.
Monterosso, Cesar D. B. et al (1985) “Grain Storage in Developing Areas: Location and Size of Facilities.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 67, No. 1 pp. 101-111.
Moscardi, Edgardo and Alain de Janvry. (1977) “Attitudes toward Risk among Peasants: An Econometric Approach” American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 59, No. 4 pp. 710-716.
Nielsen, Randall (1997) “Storage and English Government Intervention in Early Modern Grain Markets.” The Journal of Economic History, Vol. 57, No. 1 pp. 1-33.
Simms, Steven R. (1987) “Behavioral Ecology and Hunter-Gatherer Foraging” BAR International Series 381, Oxford.
Available Versions of this Item
Simple Financial Economic Models of Fremont Maize Storage and an Assessment of External Threat. (deposited 26. Jun 2010 17:58)
- Simple Financial Economic Models of Fremont Maize Storage and an Assessment of External Threat. (deposited 02. Oct 2010 21:42) [Currently Displayed]