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Climate and the Emergence of Global Income Differences

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas Barnebeck Andersen
  • Carl-Johan Dalgaard
  • Pablo Selaya

Abstract

The latitude gradient in comparative development is a striking fact: as one moves away from the equator, economic activity rises. While this regularity is well known, it is not well understood. Perhaps the strongest correlate of (absolute) latitude is the intensity of ultraviolet radiation (UV-R), which epidemiological research has shown to be a cause of a wide range of diseases. We establish that UV-R is strongly and negatively correlated with economic activity, both across and within countries. We propose and test a mechanism that links UV-R to current income differences via the impact of disease ecology on the timing of the take-off to sustained growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Barnebeck Andersen & Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Pablo Selaya, 2016. "Climate and the Emergence of Global Income Differences," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(4), pages 1334-1363.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:83:y:2016:i:4:p:1334-1363.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/restud/rdw006
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Holger Strulik, 2017. "Physiological Constraints and Comparative Economic Development," CESifo Working Paper Series 6794, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Marco Letta & Pierluigi Montalbano & Richard S.J. Tol, 2017. "Temperature shocks, growth and poverty thresholds: evidence from rural Tanzania," Working Papers 13/17, Sapienza University of Rome, DISS.
    3. Depetris-Chauvin, Emilio & Özak, Ömer, 2018. "The Origins of the Division of Labor in Pre-modern Times," MPRA Paper 84894, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Holger Strulik, 2014. "Physiological Constraints and Comparative Economic Development," Discussion Papers 14-21, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    5. Richard S J Tol, 2018. "The Economic Impacts of Climate Change," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 12(1), pages 4-25.
    6. Özak, Ömer, 2016. "Distance to the Pre-industrial Technological Frontier and Economic Development," MPRA Paper 74737, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. repec:eee:ecmode:v:70:y:2018:i:c:p:571-578 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:eee:ecmode:v:70:y:2018:i:c:p:484-495 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Kaarsen, Nicolai & Olsson, Ola & Selaya, Pablo, 2018. "Roman Roads to Prosperity: Persistence and Non-Persistence of Public Goods Provision," Working Papers in Economics 722, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    10. Marco Letta & Richard S.J. Tol, 2016. "Weather, climate and total factor productivity," Working Paper Series 10216, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.

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