Muslim conquest and institutional formation

Faisal Z. Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent studies suggest that Muslim military conquest (632–1100 CE) generated an institutional equilibrium with deleterious long-run political economy effects. This equilibrium was predicated on mamluk institutions: the use of elite slave soldiers (mamluks) and non-hereditary property rights over agricultural lands to compensate them (iqta). This paper evaluates this historical narrative by exploring the accuracy of its initial step. Using a difference-in-differences strategy, I show that conquest changed institutions in conquered territories. I then provide suggestive evidence that the presence and efficacy of mamluk institutions affected this institutional configuration and that leaders survived longer in power during the conquest period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101400
JournalExplorations in Economic History
StatePublished - Jul 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Economics and Econometrics


  • Historical legacy
  • Institutions
  • Islam
  • Military conquest
  • Political economy


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