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The Agricultural Origins of Time Preference

Listed author(s):
  • Oded Galor
  • Ömer Özak

This research explores the origins of observed differences in time preference across countries and regions. Exploiting a natural experiment associated with the expansion of suitable crops for cultivation in the course of the Columbian Exchange, the research establishes that pre-industrial agro-climatic characteristics which were conducive to higher return to agricultural investment triggered selection, adaptation, and learning processes that generated a persistent positive effect on the prevalence of long-term orientation in the contemporary era. Furthermore, the research establishes that these agro-climatic characteristics have had a culturally embodied impact on economic behavior such as technological adoption, education, saving, and smoking.

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File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/aer.20150020
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 106 (2016)
Issue (Month): 10 (October)
Pages: 3064-3103

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:106:y:2016:i:10:p:3064-3103
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20150020
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