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Evolution and the growth process: Natural selection of entrepreneurial traits

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  • Galor, Oded
  • Michalopoulos, Stelios

Abstract

This research suggests that a Darwinian evolution of entrepreneurial spirit played a significant role in the process of economic development and the dynamics of inequality within and across societies. The study argues that entrepreneurial spirit evolved non-monotonically in the course of human history. In early stages of development, risk-tolerant, growth promoting traits generated an evolutionary advantage and their increased representation accelerated the pace of technological progress and the process of economic development. In mature stages of development, however, risk-averse traits gained an evolutionary advantage, diminishing the growth potential of advanced economies and contributing to convergence in economic growth across countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 147 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 759-780

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:147:y:2012:i:2:p:759-780

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

Related research

Keywords: Risk aversion; Growth; Technological progress; Evolution; Natural selection;

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References

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  1. Galor, Oded, 2005. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 171-293 Elsevier.
  2. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 1999. "From Malthusian Stagnation to Modern Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 150-154, May.
  3. White, Roderick E. & Thornhill, Stewart & Hampson, Elizabeth, 2006. "Entrepreneurs and evolutionary biology: The relationship between testosterone and new venture creation," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 21-34, May.
  4. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A., 2005. "Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 385-472 Elsevier.
  5. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1989. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Working papers 527, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2007. "The Neolithic Revolution and Contemporary Variations in Life Expectancy," Working Papers 2007-14, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  7. Palacios-Huerta, Ignacio & Santos, Tano J., 2004. "A theory of markets, institutions, and endogenous preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 601-627, March.
  8. Antonio E. Bernardo & Ivo Welch, 2001. "On the Evolution of Overconfidence and Entrepreneurs," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1307, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Dohmen, Thomas J & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Schupp, Jürgen & Sunde, Uwe & Wagner, Gert Georg, 2006. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," CEPR Discussion Papers 5517, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 1998. "Malthus to Solow," NBER Working Papers 6858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," Arbetsrapport 2000:5, Institute for Futures Studies.
  12. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2007. "The Diffusion of Development," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0704, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  13. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "Social Class and the Spirit of Capitalism," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 516-524, 04/05.
  14. Graziella Bertocchi, 2006. "The Law of Primogeniture and the Transition from Landed Aristocracy to Industrial Democracy," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 43-70, 03.
  15. Hans-Peter Kohler & Joseph L. Rodgers & Kaare Christensen, 1999. "Is Fertility Behavior in Our Genes? Findings from a Danish Twin Study," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(2), pages 253-288.
  16. Doepke, Matthias & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2007. "Occupational Choice and the Spirit of Capitalism," IZA Discussion Papers 2949, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Joseph Rodgers & Hans-Peter Kohler & Kirsten Kyvik & Kaare Christensen, 2001. "Behavior genetic modeling of human fertility: findings from a contemporary danish twin study," Demography, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 29-42, February.
  18. Lagerl F, Nils-Petter, 2007. "Long-Run Trends In Human Body Mass," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(03), pages 367-387, June.
  19. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond The Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, And The Evolution Of Ethnic And Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988, August.
  20. Sachiko Miyata, 2003. "Household's risk attitudes in Indonesian villages," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(5), pages 573-583.
  21. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
  22. Feinerman, Eli & Finkelshtain, Israel, 1996. "Introducing socioeconomic characteristics into production analysis under risk," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 149-161, February.
  23. Oded Galor, 2006. "The Demographic Transition," Working Papers 2006-24, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  24. Borghans, José A.M. & Borghans, Lex & ter Weel, Bas, 2005. "Is There a Link between Economic Outcomes and Genetic Evolution? Cross-Country Evidence from the Major Histocompatibility Complex," IZA Discussion Papers 1838, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. 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.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Natural selection and economic growth
    by Jason in Evolving Economics on 2011-06-02 19:02:10
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