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The Neolithic Revolution from a price-theoretic perspective

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  • Guzmán, Ricardo Andrés

Abstract

The adoption of agriculture, some 10,000 years ago, triggered the first demographic explosion in human history. When fertility fell back to its original level, early farmers found themselves worse fed than the previous hunter-gatherers, and worked longer hours to make ends meet. I develop a dynamic, price-theoretic model with endogenous fertility that rationalises these events. The results are driven by the reduction in the cost of children that followed the adoption of agriculture.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 10069.

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Date of creation: 16 Aug 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:10069

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Keywords: Paleoeconomics; Neolithic Revolution; hunter-gatherers; Malthus;

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References

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  1. Seabright, Paul, 2008. "Warfare and the Multiple Adoption of Agriculture After the Last Ice Age," IDEI Working Papers 522, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  2. Locay, Luis, 1989. "From Hunting and Gathering to Agriculture," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(4), pages 737-56, July.
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  5. 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.
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  11. Gregory Dow & Clyde Reed & Nancy Olewiler, 2009. "Climate reversals and the transition to agriculture," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 27-53, March.
  12. Jacob Weisdorf, 2008. "Why did the First Farmers Toil? Human Metabolism and the Origins of Agriculture," Discussion Papers 08-15, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  13. 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.
  14. Eckstein, Zvi & Stern, Steven & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1988. "Fertility Choice, Land, and the Malthusian Hypothesis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(2), pages 353-61, May.
  15. Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Strulik, Holger, 2011. "The Physiological Foundations of the Wealth of Nations," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-480, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  16. Arthur J. Robson, 2010. "A bioeconomic view of the Neolithic transition to agriculture," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(1), pages 280-300, February.
  17. Nerlove, Marc & Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1986. "Endogenous Population with Public Goods and Malthusian Fixed Resources: Efficiency or Market Failure," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(3), pages 601-09, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Rowthorn, Robert & Seabright, Paul, 2010. "Property Rights, Warfare and the Neolithic Transition," IDEI Working Papers 654, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.

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