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Natural Selection and the Evolution of Life Expectancy

  • Galor, Oded
  • Moav, Omer

This research advances an evolutionary growth theory that captures the pattern of life expectancy in the process of development, shedding new light on the sources of the remarkable rise in life expectancy since the Agricultural Revolution. The theory suggests that social, economic and environmental changes that were associated with the transition from hunter-gatherer tribes to sedentary agricultural communities and ultimately to urban societies affected the nature of the environmental hazards confronted by the human population, triggering an evolutionary process that had a significant impact on the time path of human longevity.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5373.

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Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5373
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  1. Fogel, Robert W., 1993. "Economic Growth, Population Theory, and Physiology: The Bearing of Long-Term Processes on the Making of Economic Policy," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1993-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
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  8. Raouf Boucekkine & David de la Croix & Omar Licandro, 2003. "Early Mortality Declines at the Dawn of Modern Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(3), pages 401-418, 09.
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  10. Holger Strulik, 2005. "Geography, Health, and Demo-Economic Development," Discussion Papers 05-15, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  11. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1999. "From Malthusian Stagnation to Modern Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2082, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Ryder, Harl E. & Weil, David N., 2000. "Mortality decline, human capital investment, and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-23, June.
  13. David N. Weil, 2005. "Accounting for the Effect of Health on Economic Growth," Working Papers 2005-07, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  14. Becker, Gary S, 1976. "Altruism, Egoism, and Genetic Fitness: Economics and Sociobiology," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 817-26, September.
  15. Boyer, George R, 1989. "Malthus Was Right after All: Poor Relief and Birth Rates in Southeastern England," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 93-114, February.
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  18. Joel Mokyr, 1998. "Induced technical innovation and medical history: an evolutionary approach," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 119-137.
  19. Hans-Peter Kohler & Joseph L. Rodgers & Kaare Christensen, 1999. "Is Fertility Behavior in Our Genes? Findings from a Danish Twin Study," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(2), pages 253-288.
  20. Joseph Rodgers & Hans-Peter Kohler & Kirsten Kyvik & Kaare Christensen, 2001. "Behavior genetic modeling of human fertility: findings from a contemporary danish twin study," Demography, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 29-42, February.
  21. Cervellati, Matteo & Sunde, Uwe, 2002. "Human Capital Formation, Life Expectancy and the Process of Economic Development," IZA Discussion Papers 585, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  22. Nils-Petter Lagerloef, 2000. "From Malthus to Modern Growth: The Three Regimes Revisited," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1248, Econometric Society.
  23. Iyigun, Murat F., 2002. "Geography, Demography, and Early Development," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 105, Royal Economic Society.
  24. Arthur J. Robson, 2002. "Evolution and Human Nature," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 89-106, Spring.
  25. Richard H. Steckel, 2004. "The Best of Times, the Worst of Times: Health and Nutrition in Pre-Columbian America," NBER Working Papers 10299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Aloysius Siow & Maristella Botticini, 2005. "The Value of Sons in Premodern Economies: A View from the Marriage Market," 2005 Meeting Papers 822, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  28. Jacob L. Weisdorf, 2004. "From stagnation to growth: Revisiting three historical regimes," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 455-472, 08.
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