Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/62667
Authors: 
Ashraf, Quamrul
Galor, Oded
Year of Publication: 
2008
Series/Report no.: 
Working Paper, Brown University, Department of Economics 2008-3
Abstract: 
This research contributes to the understanding of human genetic diversity within a society as a significant determinant of its economic development. The hypothesis advanced and empirically examined in this paper suggests that there are socioeconomic trade-offs associated with genetic diversity within a given society. The investigation exploits an exogenous source of cross-country variation in genetic diversity by appealing to the 'out of Africa' hypothesis of human origins to empirically establish a highly statistically significant and robust non-monotonic effect of genetic diversity on development outcomes in the pre-colonial era. Contrary to theories that reject a possible role for human genetics in influencing economic development, this study demonstrates the economic significance of diversity in genetic traits, while abstaining entirely from conceptual frameworks that posit a hierarchy of such traits in terms of their conduciveness to the process of economic development.
Subjects: 
Human genetic diversity
Comparative development
Population density
Neolithic Revolution
Land productivity
Malthusian stagnation
JEL: 
N10
N30
N50
O10
O50
Z10
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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