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Biogeographical conditions, the transition to agriculture and long-run growth

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  • Bleaney, Michael
  • Dimico, Arcangelo

Abstract

We use new data on the timing of the transition to agriculture, developed by Putterman and Trainor (2006), to test the theory of Diamond (1997) and Olsson and Hibbs (2005) that an earlier transition is reflected in higher incomes today. Our results confirm the theory, even after controlling for institutional quality and other geographical factors. The date of transition is correlated with prehistoric biogeography (the availability of wild grasses and large domesticable animal species). The factors conducive to high per capita incomes today are good institutions, an early transition to agriculture, access to the sea and a low incidence of fatal malaria. Geographical influences have been at work in all of these proximate determinants of per capita income.

Suggested Citation

  • Bleaney, Michael & Dimico, Arcangelo, 2011. "Biogeographical conditions, the transition to agriculture and long-run growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(7), pages 943-954.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:55:y:2011:i:7:p:943-954
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2011.03.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. James B. Ang, 2015. "Agricultural Transition And The Adoption Of Primitive Technology," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(4), pages 1818-1838, October.
    2. Casper Hansen & Peter Jensen & Christian Skovsgaard, 2015. "Modern gender roles and agricultural history: the Neolithic inheritance," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 365-404, December.
    3. Nguyen Thang Dao, 2016. "From agriculture to manufacturing: How does geography matter?," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 10(3), pages 277-309, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Agriculture; Geography; Growth; Institutions;

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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