A bioeconomic view of the Neolithic transition to agriculture
Adoption of agriculture at the expense of hunting and gathering was the dramatic precondition for all modern civilization. Recent data suggest that, because of this transition, humans initially were more disease prone, smaller, less nourished, and shorter-lived. To explain why individuals chose agriculture over hunting and gathering, this paper develops a simple model of the evolution of preferences over the quality and quantity of children, as would have been generated by our long history as a species. These preferences would have induced the choice of agriculture, but also would have led to these otherwise puzzling health effects.
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Volume (Year): 43 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
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