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Evolution and the growth process: Natural selection of entrepreneurial traits

  • 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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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
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  18. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-51, March.
  19. Bertocchi, Graziella, 2003. "The Law of Primogeniture and the Transition from Landed Aristocracy to Industrial Democracy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3723, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  23. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1999. "Beyond the Melting Pot: Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," Papers 1999-10, Laval - Laboratoire Econometrie.
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  26. Borghans,J.A.M. & Borghans,Lex & Weel,Bas,ter, 2005. "Is There a Link between Economic Outcomes and Genetic Evolution? Cross-Country Evidence from the Major Histocompatibility Complex," Research Memorandum 029, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  27. 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.
  28. White, Roderick E. & Thornhill, Stewart & Hampson, Elizabeth, 2006. "Entrepreneurs and evolutionary biology: The relationship between testosterone and new venture creation," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 21-34, May.
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