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Natural Selection and the Evolution of Life Expectancy

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  • Galor, Oded
  • Moav, Omer

Abstract

This research advances an evolutionary growth theory that captures the pattern of life expectancy in the process of development, shedding new light on the sources of the remarkable rise in life expectancy since the Agricultural Revolution. The theory suggests that social, economic and environmental changes that were associated with the transition from hunter-gatherer tribes to sedentary agricultural communities and ultimately to urban societies affected the nature of the environmental hazards confronted by the human population, triggering an evolutionary process that had a significant impact on the time path of human longevity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5373.

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Date of creation: Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5373

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Related research

Keywords: evolution; growth; life expectancy; Malthusian stagnation; natural selection; technological progress;

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References

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  1. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2001. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2727, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. BOUCEKKINE, Raouf & de la CROIX, David & LICANDRO, Omar, 2002. "Early mortality declines at the dawn of modern growth," CORE Discussion Papers 2002030, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Joel Mokyr, 1998. "Induced technical innovation and medical history: an evolutionary approach," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 119-137.
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  7. Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "Mortality Reductions, Educational Attainment, and Fertility Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 580-601, June.
  8. Murat Iyigun, 2005. "Geography, demography, and early development," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 301-321, 06.
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  10. David Weil, 2006. "Accounting for the Effect of Health on Economic Growth," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_031, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  11. Matteo Cervellati & Uwe Sunde, 2005. "Human Capital Formation, Life Expectancy, and the Process of Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1653-1672, December.
  12. 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.
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  17. Benaim, Michel & Weibull, Jörgen W., 2000. "Deterministic Approximation of Stochastic Evolution in Games," Working Paper Series 534, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 30 Oct 2001.
  18. Cervellati, Matteo & Sunde, Uwe, 2002. "Human Capital Formation, Life Expectancy and the Process of Economic Development," IZA Discussion Papers 585, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Arthur J. Robson, 2002. "Evolution and Human Nature," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 89-106, Spring.
  20. Becker, Gary S, 1976. "Altruism, Egoism, and Genetic Fitness: Economics and Sociobiology," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 817-26, September.
  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. Boyer, George R, 1989. "Malthus Was Right after All: Poor Relief and Birth Rates in Southeastern England," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 93-114, February.
  23. Richard H. Steckel, 2004. "The Best of Times, the Worst of Times: Health and Nutrition in Pre-Columbian America," NBER Working Papers 10299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. 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.
  25. Holger Strulik, 2005. "Geography, Health, and Demo-Economic Development," Discussion Papers 05-15, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  26. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Ryder, Harl E. & Weil, David N., 2000. "Mortality decline, human capital investment, and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-23, June.
  27. Aloysius Siow & Maristella Botticini, 2005. "The Value of Sons in Premodern Economies: A View from the Marriage Market," 2005 Meeting Papers 822, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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