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The Out of Africa Hypothesis of Comparative Development Reflected by Nighttime Light Intensity

Author

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  • Quamrul Ashraf
  • Oded Galor
  • Marc Klemp

Abstract

This research establishes that migratory distance from the cradle of anatomically modern humans in East Africa and its effect on the distribution of genetic diversity across countries has a hump-shaped effect on nighttime light intensity per capita as observed by satellites, reflecting the trade-off between the beneficial and the detrimental effects of diversity on productivity. The finding lends further credence to the hypothesis that a significant portion of the variation in the standard of living across the globe can be attributed to factors that were determined in the distant past.

Suggested Citation

  • Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor & Marc Klemp, 2014. "The Out of Africa Hypothesis of Comparative Development Reflected by Nighttime Light Intensity," Working Papers 2014-4, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bro:econwp:2014-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jo Thori Lind & Halvor Mehlum, 2010. "With or Without U? The Appropriate Test for a U-Shaped Relationship," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(1), pages 109-118, February.
    2. Ashraf, Quamrul & Galor, Oded, 2008. "Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 7057, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. 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.
    4. J. Vernon Henderson & Adam Storeygard & David N. Weil, 2012. "Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 994-1028, April.
    5. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2011. "Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2003-2041, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Simplice A. Asongu & Oasis Kodila†Tedika, 2017. "Is Poverty in the African DNA (Gene)?," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 85(4), pages 533-552, December.
    2. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor & Marc Klemp, 2015. "Heterogeneity and Productivity," Working Papers 2015-4, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    3. Frédéric Docquier & Riccardo Turati & Jérôme Valette & Chrysovalantis Vasilakis, 2018. "Birthplace Diversity and Economic Growth: Evidence from the US States in the Post-World War II Period," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2018004, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    4. Oasis Kodila-Tedika & Simplice A. Asongu, 2016. "Genetic distance and cognitive human capital: a cross-national investigation," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 33-51, April.
    5. Oded Galor & Marc Klemp, 2014. "The Biocultural Origins of Human Capital Formation," Working Papers 2014-6, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    6. Frédéric Docquier & Riccardo Turati & Jérôme Valette & Chrysovalantis Vasilakis, 2016. "Multiculturalism and Growth: Skill-Specific Evidence from the Post-World War II Period," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2016028, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    7. C. Justin Cook & Jason M. Fletcher, 2017. "High School Genetic Diversity and Later-life Student Outcomes: Micro-level Evidence from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study," NBER Working Papers 23520, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Nguyen Thang Dao, 2016. "From agriculture to manufacturing: How does geography matter?," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 10(3), pages 277-309, September.
    9. Thomas Dohmen & Benjamin Enke & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2016. "Patience and the Wealth of Nations," Working Papers 2016-012, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Nighttime light intensity; Out of Africa Hypothesis of Comparative Development; Genetic Diversity; Comparative Development; migratory distance from Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N50 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O50 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - General
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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