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Agriculture, Diffusion,and Development: Ripple Effects of the Neolithic Revolutions



Are the effects of the Neolithic revolution still impacting on incomes across the world today? I find strong support for this proposition using new, country-specific estimates of the timing of the agricultural transition and provide evidence that the differences are due to how technological diffusion is accounted for. A correction for world migrations since 1500 significantly improves the fit. Transition year also helps to explain income in 1500 itself, and an alternative measure of pre-modern development, state history, has similar ability to predict income in 1500 and 1997. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2007.
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  • Louis Putterman, 2006. "Agriculture, Diffusion,and Development: Ripple Effects of the Neolithic Revolutions," Working Papers 2006-19, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bro:econwp:2006-19

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    1. Burkett, John P & Humblet, Catherine & Putterman, Louis, 1999. "Preindustrial and Postwar Economic Development: Is There a Link?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(3), pages 471-495, April.
    2. Pranab Bardhan, 2005. "Institutions matter, but which ones?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 13(3), pages 499-532, July.
    3. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt & David Mayer-Foulkes, 2005. "The Effect of Financial Development on Convergence: Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 173-222.
    4. Areendam Chanda & Louis Putterman, 2004. "The Quest for Development," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 5(2), pages 1-31, April.
    5. Jacob L. Weisdorf, 2005. "From Foraging To Farming: Explaining The Neolithic Revolution," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 561-586, September.
    6. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    7. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    8. Areendam Chanda & Louis Putterman, 2007. "Early Starts, Reversals and Catch-up in the Process of Economic Development," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(2), pages 387-413, June.
    9. Bockstette, Valerie & Chanda, Areendam & Putterman, Louis, 2002. "States and Markets: The Advantage of an Early Start," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 347-369, December.
    10. Olsson, Ola & Hibbs, Douglas Jr., 2005. "Biogeography and long-run economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 909-938, May.
    11. Louis Putterman, 2000. "Can an evolutionary approach to development predict post-war economic growth?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(3), pages 1-30.
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