Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Long-Run Trends In Human Body Mass

Contents:

Author Info

  • LAGERL F, NILS-PETTER
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Over the past two million years human body mass first increased and later declined, peaking about 50,000 years ago. This paper sets up a model of natural selection among body types to explain this pattern. Population, technology, and average body mass evolve endogenously and interdependently in such a way that a takeoff in technological progress generates rising population density and resource depletion. This in turn makes large bodies less useful in food procurement, while keeping their metabolism requirements high. The result is a shift in reproductive advantage from big to small bodies and an endogenous reversal of the time trend in body mass.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S136510050606010X
    File Function: link to article abstract page
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Macroeconomic Dynamics.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 03 (June)
    Pages: 367-387

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:cup:macdyn:v:11:y:2007:i:03:p:367-387_06

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: The Edinburgh Building, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 2RU UK
    Fax: +44 (0)1223 325150
    Web page: http://journals.cambridge.org/jid_MDYProvider-Email:journals@cambridge.org

    Related research

    Keywords:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2001. "Evolution and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 718-729, May.
    2. Nicolas Marceau & Gordon Myers, 2006. "On the Early Holocene: Foraging to Early Agriculture," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(513), pages 751-772, 07.
    3. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2002. "Natural Selection And The Origin Of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1133-1191, November.
    4. Robson, Arthur J., 2003. "The evolution of rationality and the Red Queen," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 111(1), pages 1-22, July.
    5. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2004. "Natural Selection and the Evolution of Life Expectancy," GE, Growth, Math methods 0409004, EconWPA.
    6. Oded Galor & Stelios Michalopoulos, 2006. "Darwinian Evolution of Entrepreneurial Spirit and the Process of Development," Working Papers 2006-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    7. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
    8. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 681-716, August.
    9. Jacob L. Weisdorf, 2005. "From Foraging To Farming: Explaining The Neolithic Revolution," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 561-586, 09.
    10. Horan, R.D. & Bulte, E.H. & Shogren, J.F., 2005. "How trade saved humanity from biological exclusion: An economic theory of Neanderthal extinction," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-148673, Tilburg University.
    11. Arthur J. Robson, 2002. "Evolution and Human Nature," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 89-106, Spring.
    12. Faria, Joao Ricardo, 2000. "What Happened to the Neanderthals? The Survival Trap," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(2), pages 161-72.
    13. Arthur J. Robson, 2001. "The Biological Basis of Economic Behavior," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(1), pages 11-33, March.
    14. Matthew J. Baker, 2003. "An Equilibrium Conflict Model of Land Tenure in Hunter-Gatherer Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 124-173, February.
    15. Smith, Vernon L, 1975. "The Primitive Hunter Culture, Pleistocene Extinction, and the Rise of Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 727-55, August.
    16. Robert Fogel & Dora Costa, 1997. "A theory of technophysio evolution, with some implications for forecasting population, health care costs, and pension costs," Demography, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 49-66, February.
    17. Arthur J. Robson & Hillard S. Kaplan, 2003. "The Evolution of Human Life Expectancy and Intelligence in Hunter-Gatherer Economies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 150-169, March.
    18. Nils-Petter Lagerl–f, 2003. "From Malthus to Modern Growth: Can Epidemics Explain the Three Regimes?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 755-777, 05.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Oded Galor & Marc Klemp, 2013. "Be Fruitful and Multiply? Moderate Fecundity and Long-Run Reproductive Success," Working Papers 2013-10, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    2. Oded Galor & Marc Klemp, 2014. "The Biocultural Origins of Human Capital Formation," Working Papers 2014-6, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    3. Galor, Oded & Michalopoulos, Stelios, 2011. "Evolution and the Growth Process: Natural Selection of Entrepreneurial Traits," CEPR Discussion Papers 8377, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Strulik, Holger, 2007. "A Bioeconomic Foundation of the Malthusian Equilibrium: Body Size and Population Size in the Long-Run," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-373, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:macdyn:v:11:y:2007:i:03:p:367-387_06. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.