NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Roots of Autocracy

Oded Galor, Marc Klemp

NBER Working Paper No. 23301
Issued in March 2017
NBER Program(s):Economic Fluctuations and Growth, Political Economy

Exploiting a novel geo-referenced data set of population diversity across ethnic groups, this research advances the hypothesis and empirically establishes that variation in population diversity across human societies, as determined in the course of the exodus of human from Africa tens of thousands of years ago, contributed to the differential formation of pre-colonial autocratic institutions within ethnic groups and the emergence of autocratic institutions across countries. Diversity has amplified the importance of institutions in mitigating the adverse effects of non-cohesiveness on productivity, while contributing to the scope for domination, leading to the formation of institutions of the autocratic type.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23301

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