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From Foraging To Farming: Explaining The Neolithic Revolution

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  • Jacob L. Weisdorf

Abstract

This article reviews the main theories about the prehistoric shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture. The transition, also known as the Neolithic Revolution, was ultimately necessary to the rise of modern civilization by creating the foundation for the later process of industrialization and sustained economic growth. The article provides a brief historical survey of the leading hypotheses concerning the rise of agriculture proposed in the archaeological and anthropological literature. It then turns to a more detailed review of the theories put forth in the economic literature. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2005.

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  • Jacob L. Weisdorf, 2005. "From Foraging To Farming: Explaining The Neolithic Revolution," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 561-586, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:19:y:2005:i:4:p:561-586
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2002. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1133-1191.
    2. Tamura, Robert, 2002. "Human capital and the switch from agriculture to industry," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 207-242, December.
    3. Olsson, Ola & Hibbs, Douglas Jr., 2005. "Biogeography and long-run economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 909-938, May.
    4. Jacob L. Weisdorf, 2004. "From stagnation to growth: Revisiting three historical regimes," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(3), pages 455-472, August.
    5. Jacob L. Weisdorf, 2003. "Stone Age Economics: The Origins of Agriculture and the Emergence of Non-Food Specialists," Discussion Papers 03-34, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    6. Kogel, Tomas & Prskawetz, Alexia, 2001. "Agricultural Productivity Growth and Escape from the Malthusian Trap," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 337-357, December.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Goodfriend, Marvin & McDermott, John, 1995. "Early Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 116-133, March.
    10. Michael Kremer, 1993. "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 681-716.
    11. Olsson, Ola, 2001. "The Rise of Neolithic Agriculture," Working Papers in Economics 57, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N50 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General

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