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Natural Selection and the Evolution of Life Expectancy

  • Oded Galor
  • Omer Moav

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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File URL: http://degit.sam.sdu.dk/papers/degit_11/C011_062.pdf
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Paper provided by DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade in its series DEGIT Conference Papers with number c011_062.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c011_062
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  1. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," Arbetsrapport 2000:5, Institute for Futures Studies.
  2. Joel Mokyr, 1998. "Induced technical innovation and medical history: an evolutionary approach," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 119-137.
  3. Benaim, Michel & Weibull, Jörgen W., 2000. "Deterministic Approximation of Stochastic Evolution in Games," Working Paper Series 534, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 30 Oct 2001.
  4. Robert W. Fogel, 1994. "Economic Growth, Population Theory, and Physiology: The Bearing of Long-Term Processes on the Making of Economic Policy," NBER Working Papers 4638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Raouf BOUCEKKINE & David DE LA CROIX & Omar LICANDRO, 2002. "Early Mortality Declines at the Dawn of Modern Growth," Economics Working Papers ECO2002/11, European University Institute.
  6. 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.
  7. Holger Strulik, 2005. "Geography, Health, and Demo-Economic Development," Discussion Papers 05-15, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  8. David N. Weil, 2005. "Accounting for the Effect of Health on Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 11455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Rodrigo R. Soares, 2003. "Mortality Reductions, Educational Attainment, and Fertility Choice," Development and Comp Systems 0312006, EconWPA.
  10. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1999. "From Malthusian Stagnation to Modern Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2082, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
  12. Murat Iyigun, 2005. "Geography, demography, and early development," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(2), pages 301-321, 06.
  13. Arthur J. Robson & Hillard S. Kaplan, 2003. "The Evolution of Human Life Expectancy and Intelligence in Hunter-Gatherer Economies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 150-169, March.
  14. 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;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(1), pages 29-42, February.
  15. 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.
  16. Nils-Petter Lagerloef, 2000. "From Malthus to Modern Growth: The Three Regimes Revisited," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1248, Econometric Society.
  17. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond the Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988.
  18. Arthur J. Robson, 2002. "Evolution and Human Nature," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 89-106, Spring.
  19. 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.
  20. 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).
  21. Hansson, Ingemar & Stuart, Charles, 1990. "Malthusian Selection of Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 529-44, June.
  22. 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.
  23. Matteo Cervellati & Uwe Sunde, 2005. "Human Capital Formation, Life Expectancy, and the Process of Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1653-1672, December.
  24. 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.
  25. Jacob L. Weisdorf, 2004. "From stagnation to growth: Revisiting three historical regimes," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(3), pages 455-472, 08.
  26. Ehrlich, Isaac & Lui, Francis T, 1991. "Intergenerational Trade, Longevity, and Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1029-59, October.
  27. 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.
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