Was the Wealth of Nations Determined in 1000 B.C.?
We assemble a dataset on technology adoption in 1000 B.C., 0 A.D., and 1500 A.D. for the predecessors to today's nation states. We find that this very old history of technology adoption is surprisingly significant for today's national development outcomes. Although our strongest results are for 1500 A.D., we find that even technology as old as 1000 BC matters in some plausible specifications.
We are thankful to Tobias Pfutze for comments and research assistance, to Michael Clemens, Pete Klenow, Bob Lucas, Nathan Nun, Peter Peregrine, Romain Wacziarg and David Weil, for useful discussions and to the NSF (Grant # SES-0517910) and the C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics for their financial support. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Diego Comin & William Easterly & Erick Gong, 2010. "Was the Wealth of Nations Determined in 1000 BC?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 65-97, July. citation courtesy of