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The Ancient Origins of the Wealth of Nations

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  • Quamrul H. Ashraf
  • Oded Galor
  • Marc P. B. Klemp

Abstract

This essay explores the deepest roots of economic development. It underscores the significance of evolutionary processes in shaping fundamental individual and cultural traits, such as time preference, risk and loss aversion, and predisposition towards child quality, that have contributed to technological progress, human-capital formation, and economic development. Moreover, it highlights the persistent mark of the exodus of Homo sapiens from Africa tens of thousands of years ago on the degree of interpersonal population diversity across the globe and examines the impact of this variation in diversity for comparative economic, cultural, and institutional development across countries, regions, and ethnic groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Quamrul H. Ashraf & Oded Galor & Marc P. B. Klemp, 2020. "The Ancient Origins of the Wealth of Nations," CESifo Working Paper Series 8624, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_8624
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    comparative development; human evolution; natural selection; preference for child quality; time preference; loss aversion; entrepreneurial spirit; the “out of Africa” hypothesis; interpersonal diversity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • 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
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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