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Climatic Fluctuations and the Diffusion of Agriculture

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  • Quamrul Ashraf
  • Stelios Michalopoulos

Abstract

This research examines the climatic origins of the diffusion of Neolithic agriculture across countries and archaeological sites. The theory suggests that a foraging society s history of climatic shocks shaped the timing of its adoption of farming. Specifically, as long as climatic disturbances did not lead to a collapse of the underlying resource base, the rate at which hunter-gatherers were climatically propelled to experiment with their habitats determined the accumulation of tacit knowledge complementary to farming. Consistent with the proposed hypothesis, the empirical investigation demonstrates that, conditional on biogeographic endowments, climatic volatility has a hump-shaped effect on the timing of the adoption of agriculture.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18765.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18765

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  1. Peretto, Pietro F., 2012. "Resource abundance, growth and welfare: A Schumpeterian perspective," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 142-155.
  2. Acemoglu, Daron & Aghion, Philippe & Bursztyn, Leonardo & Hemous, David, 2011. "The Environment and Directed Technical Change," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 8660, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  6. Quamrul Ashraf & Stelios Michalopoulos, 2010. "The Climatic Origins of the Neolithic Revolution: Theory and Evidence," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0751, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
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  12. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2011. "Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch," NBER Working Papers 17037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2007. "The Neolithic Revolution and Contemporary Variations in Life Expectancy," Working Papers 2007-14, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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