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Land Productivity and Economic Development: Caloric Suitability vs. Agricultural Suitability

Author

Listed:
  • Oded Galor
  • Omer Ozak

Abstract

This paper establishes that the Caloric Suitability Index (CSI) dominates the commonly used measure of agricultural suitability in the examination of the effect of land productivity on comparative economic development. The analysis demonstrates that the agricultural suitability index does not capture the large variation in the potential caloric yield across equally suitable land, reflecting the fact that land suitable for agriculture is not necessarily suitable for the most caloric-intensive crops. Hence, in light of the instrumental role played by caloric yield in sustaining and supporting population growth, and given importance of pre-industrial population density for the subsequent course of economic development, the Caloric Suitability Index dominates the conventional measure in capturing the effect of land productivity on pre-colonial population density and the subsequent course of economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Oded Galor & Omer Ozak, 2015. "Land Productivity and Economic Development: Caloric Suitability vs. Agricultural Suitability," Working Papers 2015-5, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bro:econwp:2015-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Oded Galor & Ömer Özak, 2016. "The Agricultural Origins of Time Preference," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 3064-3103.
    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. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Assaf Sarid & Oded Galor, "undated". "Geographical Origins and Economic Consequences of Language Structures," Working Papers WP2017/4, University of Haifa, Department of Economics.
    2. Michalopoulos, Stelios & Papaioannou, Elias, 2017. "Spatial Patterns of Development: A Meso Approach," Working Papers 4, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute.
    3. Emilio Depetris-Chauvin & Ömer Özak, 2015. "Population Diversity, Division of Labor and the Emergence of Trade and State," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 014228, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    4. Emilio Depetris-Chauvin & Ömer Özak, 2016. "The Origins and Long-Run Consequences of the Division of Labor," Departmental Working Papers 1610, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
    5. repec:spr:empeco:v:53:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1197-y is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Emilio Depetris-Chauvin & Ömer Özak, 2016. "Population Diversity, Division of Labor and Comparative Development," Departmental Working Papers 1605, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
    7. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2017. "Spatial Patterns of Development: A Meso Approach," NBER Working Papers 24088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. repec:kap:jecgro:v:22:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10887-017-9144-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. David Castells-Quintana & Vicente Royuela, 2017. "Tracking positive and negative effects of inequality on long-run growth," Empirical Economics, Springer, pages 1349-1378.
    10. de la Croix, David & Gobbi, Paula E., 2017. "Population density, fertility, and demographic convergence in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 13-24.
    11. Thilo R. Huning & Fabian Wahl, 2016. "You Reap What You Know: Observability of Soil Quality, and Political Fragmentation," Working Papers 0101, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Caloric Suitability; Agricultural Suitability; Agricultural Productivity; Land Productivity; Economic Development; Population Density;

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General

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