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Climatic Fluctuations and the Diffusion of Agriculture

Author

Listed:
  • Quamrul Ashraf

    (Williams College)

  • Stelios Michalopoulos

    (Brown University and NBER)

Abstract

This research examines the climatic origins of the diffusion of Neolithic agriculture across countries and archaeological sites. The theory suggests that a foraging society's history of climatic shocks shaped the timing of its adoption of farming. Specifically, as long as climatic disturbances did not lead to a collapse of the underlying resource base, the rate at which hunter-gatherers were climatically propelled to experiment with their habitats determined the accumulation of tacit knowledge complementary to farming. Consistent with the proposed hypothesis, the empirical investigation demonstrates that, conditional on biogeographic endowments, climatic volatility has a hump-shaped effect on the timing of the adoption of agriculture.

Suggested Citation

  • Quamrul Ashraf & Stelios Michalopoulos, 2015. "Climatic Fluctuations and the Diffusion of Agriculture," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(3), pages 589-609, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:97:y:2015:i:2:p:589-609
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Anastasia Litina, 2016. "Natural land productivity, cooperation and comparative development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 351-408, December.
    2. 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.
    3. James B. Ang, 2015. "What Drives the Historical Formation and Persistent Development of Territorial States?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 117(4), pages 1134-1175, October.
    4. Irena Grosfeld & Seyhun Orcan Sakalli & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2020. "Middleman Minorities and Ethnic Violence: Anti-Jewish Pogroms in the Russian Empire," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(1), pages 289-342.
    5. Matranga, Andrea, 2017. "The Ant and the Grasshopper: Seasonality and the Invention of Agriculture," MPRA Paper 76626, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Madalina-Gabriela ANGHEL & Florin Paul Costel LILEA & Stefan Gabriel DUMBRAVA, 2017. "Quality Of The Environment – A Factor Of Sustainable Growth," Romanian Statistical Review Supplement, Romanian Statistical Review, vol. 65(9), pages 141-152, September.
    7. Ang, James B. & Gupta, Satyendra Kumar, 2018. "Agricultural yield and conflict," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 397-417.
    8. Oana Borcan & Ola Olsson & Louis Putterman, 2018. "State history and economic development: evidence from six millennia," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 1-40, March.
    9. Fenske, James & Kala, Namrata, 2015. "Climate and the slave trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 19-32.
    10. Kodila-Tedika, Oasis & Khalifa, Sherif, 2020. "Long-Term Vision and Economic Development," MPRA Paper 99422, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Javier Mejía, 2018. "The Network Formation Origin of Tribal Societies," Documentos CEDE 016381, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    climate; agriculture;

    JEL classification:

    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness

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