Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Dimitrova-Grajzl on Game Theory and the Fortunes of the Ottoman Empire

Valentina P. Dimitrova-Grajzl, Central European University, Budapest, has posted a new paper, Unveiling the Checkered Fortunes of the Ottoman Empire: A Theoretical Model. Here's the abstract:
The Ottoman Empire has been predominantly viewed as the 'Sick Man of Europe.' The question arises, however, how this perceived inefficiency can be reconciled with the long existence and prosperity of the Empire. Using a dynamic game theory model of interaction between agents of the Empire, I show how the Ottoman system could have been efficient subject to constraints. I show that relative changes in the social order and the power of the Sultan can explain the success and the decline of the Ottoman Empire. More specifically, I explore the role of the technology of predation and the adherence to the sacred religious law in determining the equilibrium outcome.