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Evolution and the growth process: Natural selection of entrepreneurial traits

Listed author(s):
  • Galor, Oded
  • Michalopoulos, Stelios

This research suggests that a Darwinian evolution of entrepreneurial spirit played a significant role in the process of economic development and the dynamics of inequality within and across societies. The study argues that entrepreneurial spirit evolved non-monotonically in the course of human history. In early stages of development, risk-tolerant, growth promoting traits generated an evolutionary advantage and their increased representation accelerated the pace of technological progress and the process of economic development. In mature stages of development, however, risk-averse traits gained an evolutionary advantage, diminishing the growth potential of advanced economies and contributing to convergence in economic growth across countries.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022053111000573
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 147 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 759-780

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:147:y:2012:i:2:p:759-780
DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2011.04.005
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

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  1. Borghans,José & Borghans,Lex & Weel,Bas,ter, 2006. "Is there a link between economic outcomes and genetic evolution? Cross-country evidence from the major histocompatibility complex," ROA Research Memorandum 001, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  2. Galor, Oded, 2005. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 171-293 Elsevier.
  3. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Malthus to Solow," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1205-1217, September.
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  6. 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.
  7. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2007. "The Neolithic Revolution and Contemporary Variations in Life Expectancy," Working Papers 2007-14, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  8. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond the Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988.
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  11. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta & Jesus J. Santos, 2001. "A Theory of Markets, Institutions and Endogenous Preferences," Working Papers 2001-18, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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  17. Oded Galor, 2006. "The Demographic Transition," Working Papers 2006-24, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  18. Sachiko Miyata, 2003. "Household's risk attitudes in Indonesian villages," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(5), pages 573-583.
  19. 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.
  20. Weibull, Jörgen & Salomonsson, Marcus, 2005. "Natural selection and social preferences," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 588, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 20 Jul 2005.
  21. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "Social Class and the Spirit of Capitalism," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 516-524, 04/05.
  22. Joseph Rodgers & Hans-Peter Kohler & Kirsten Kyvik & Kaare Christensen, 2001. "Behavior genetic modeling of human fertility: findings from a contemporary danish twin study," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(1), pages 29-42, February.
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  24. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A., 2005. "Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 385-472 Elsevier.
  25. Jorgen W. Weibull, 1997. "Evolutionary Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262731215, September.
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