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The Macrogenoeconomics of Comparative Development

Quamrul H. Ashraf, Oded Galor

NBER Working Paper No. 23199
Issued in February 2017, Revised in April 2018
NBER Program(s):Economic Fluctuations and Growth

The importance of evolutionary forces for comparative economic performance across societies has been the focus of a vibrant literature, highlighting the roles played by the Neolithic Revolution and the prehistoric “out of Africa” migration of anatomically modern humans in generating worldwide variations in the composition of human traits. This essay provides an overview of the literature on the macrogenoeconomics of comparative development, underscoring the significance of evolutionary processes and of human population diversity in generating differential paths of economic development across societies. Furthermore, it examines the contribution of a recent hypothesis set forth by Nicholas Wade, regarding the evolutionary origins of comparative development, to this important line of research.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23199

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