IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Cultural Diversity, Geographical Isolation, and the Origin of the Wealth of Nations

Listed author(s):
  • Ashraf, Quamrul

    ()

    (Williams College)

  • Galor, Oded

    ()

    (Brown University)

This research argues that variations in the interplay between cultural assimilation and cultural diffusion have played a significant role in giving rise to differential patterns of economic development across the globe. Societies that were geographically less vulnerable to cultural diffusion benefited from enhanced assimilation, lower cultural diversity, and more intense accumulation of society-specific human capital. Thus, they operated more efficiently with respect to their production-possibility frontiers and flourished in the technological paradigm that characterized the agricultural stage of development. The lack of cultural diffusion and its manifestation in cultural rigidity, however, diminished the ability of these societies to adapt to a new technological paradigm, which delayed their industrialization and, hence, their take-off to a state of sustained economic growth. The theory thus contributes to the understanding of the advent of divergence and overtaking in the process of development. Consistently with the theory, the empirical analysis establishes that (i) geographical isolation prevalent in pre-industrial times (i.e., prior to the advent of airborne transportation technology) has had a persistent negative impact on the extent of contemporary cultural diversity; (ii) pre-industrial geographical isolation had a positive impact on economic development in the agricultural stage but has had a negative impact on income per capita in the course of industrialization; and (iii) cultural diversity, as determined exogenously by pre-industrial geographical isolation, has had a positive impact on economic development in the process of industrialization.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp6319.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6319.

as
in new window

Length: 94 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6319
Contact details of provider: Postal:
IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org

Order Information: Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Email:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
  2. Oded Galor & Stelios Michalopoulos, 2011. "Evolution and the Growth Process: Natural Selection of Entrepreneurial Traits," Working Papers 2011-9, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  3. Heiner, Ronald A, 1983. "The Origin of Predictable Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 560-595, September.
  4. Becker, Sascha O. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2009. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," Munich Reprints in Economics 20255, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2011. "The Long-Run Effects of the Scramble for Africa," NBER Working Papers 17620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, "undated". "The Quality of Government," Working Paper 19452, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  7. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2008. "Human Genetic Diversity and Comparative Economic Development," 2008 Meeting Papers 617, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Alesina, Alberto F & Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre & Giuliano, Paola, 2010. "Family Values and the Regulation of Labor," CEPR Discussion Papers 7688, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Bertocchi, Graziella & Canova, Fabio, 2002. "Did colonization matter for growth?: An empirical exploration into the historical causes of Africa's underdevelopment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1851-1871, December.
  10. Oded Galor, 2011. "Unified Growth Theory," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9477.
  11. Alesina, Alberto & Giuliano, Paola, 2007. "The Power of the Family," IZA Discussion Papers 2750, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Lucas, Robert E B & Stark, Oded, 1985. "Motivations to Remit: Evidence from Botswana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 901-918, October.
  13. Stelios Michalopoulos, 2009. "The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 110, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  14. George J. Borjas, 2006. "Native Internal Migration and the Labor Market Impact of Immigration," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(2).
  15. Olsson, Ola & Hibbs Jr., Douglas A., 2000. "Biogeography and Long-Run Economic Development," Working Papers in Economics 26, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 11 Aug 2000.
  16. Thomas Andersen & Carl-Johan Dalgaard, 2011. "Flows of people, flows of ideas, and the inequality of nations," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 1-32, March.
  17. Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "The Long-Term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades," MPRA Paper 4134, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Paul Collier, 2000. "Ethnicity, Politics and Economic Performance," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 225-245, November.
  19. Michihiro Kandori, 1992. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 63-80.
  20. Becker, Sascha & Francesco, Cinirella & Woessmann, Ludger, 2009. "The Trade-off between Fertility and Education: Evidence from before the Demographic Transition," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2009-17, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  21. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2007. "Occupational Choice and the Spirit of Capitalism," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2007-049, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  22. Christoph A. Schaltegger & Benno Torgler, 2009. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History: A Comment on Becker and Woessmann," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 248, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
  23. Rachel M. Friedberg & Jennifer Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 23-44, Spring.
  24. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2011. "Divide and Rule or the Rule of the Divided? Evidence from Africa," Economics Working Papers 0099, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  25. Marcus Berliant & Masahisa Fujita, 2004. "Knowledge Creation as a Square Dance on the Hilbert Cube," Game Theory and Information 0401004, EconWPA, revised 27 Jan 2004.
  26. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2011. "The "Out of Africa" Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 17216, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Nathan Nunn & Leonard Wantchekon, 2011. "The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3221-3252, December.
  28. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299.
  29. Alesina, Alberto F & Giuliano, Paola & Nunn, Nathan, 2011. "On the origins of gender roles: women and the plough," CEPR Discussion Papers 8418, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  30. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2012. "Long-Term Barriers to the International Diffusion of Innovations," NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 11-46.
  31. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," NBER Working Papers 10568, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2005. "The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 546-579, June.
  33. Gordon H. Hanson, 2007. "Emigration, Remittances and Labor Force Participation in Mexico," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 9371, Inter-American Development Bank.
  34. de la Briere, Benedicte & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & de Janvry, Alain & Lambert, Sylvie, 2002. "The roles of destination, gender, and household composition in explaining remittances: an analysis for the Dominican Sierra," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 309-328, August.
  35. Dean Yang, 2011. "Migrant Remittances," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 129-152, Summer.
  36. Rapoport, Hillel & Docquier, Frederic, 2006. "The Economics of Migrants' Remittances," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
  37. Giuliano, Paola, 2006. "Living Arrangements in Western Europe: Does Cultural Origin Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 2042, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  38. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Peri, Giovanni, 2008. "Immigration and National Wages: Clarifying the Theory and the Empirics," CEPR Discussion Papers 6916, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  39. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 9305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Raquel Fernandez & Alessandra Fogli, 2005. "Culture: an empirical investigation of beliefs, work, and fertility," Staff Report 361, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  41. Christian Morrisson & Fabrice Murtin, 2009. "The century of education," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586751, HAL.
  42. 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.
  43. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 95-126, December.
  44. Connel Fullenkamp & Thomas F. Cosimano & Michael T. Gapen & Ralph Chami & Peter J Montiel & Adolfo Barajas, 2008. "Macroeconomic Consequences of Remittances," IMF Occasional Papers 259, International Monetary Fund.
  45. Thomas Barnebeck Andersen & Jeanet Bentzen & Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Paul Sharp, 2011. "Religious Orders and Growth through Cultural Change in Pre-Industrial England," Discussion Papers 11-07, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  46. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "Cities and Cultures," Working Papers 2004.92, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  47. Oded Galor & Omer Moav & Dietrich Vollrath, 2009. "Inequality in Landownership, the Emergence of Human-Capital Promoting Institutions, and the Great Divergence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 143-179.
  48. Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2005. "Ethnic diversity and economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 293-323, April.
  49. Louis Putterman & David N. Weil, 2010. "Post-1500 Population Flows and The Long-Run Determinants of Economic Growth and Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1627-1682.
  50. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  51. Dustmann, Christian & Mestres, Josep, 2010. "Remittances and temporary migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 62-70, May.
  52. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of economic Growth," Working Papers 2000-18, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  53. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "The Diffusion of Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 469-529.
  54. Harrington, Joseph E, Jr, 1998. "The Social Selection of Flexible and Rigid Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 63-82, March.
  55. Oded Galor, 2005. "Discrete Dynamical Systems," GE, Growth, Math methods 0504001, EconWPA.
  56. Borjas, George J., 2013. "The analytics of the wage effect of immigration," Scholarly Articles 11744469, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  57. Guido Tabellini, 2008. "Presidential Address Institutions and Culture," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 255-294, 04-05.
  58. Jonathan Temple & Paul A. Johnson, 1998. "Social Capability and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 965-990.
  59. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-950, October.
  60. Patricia Beeson & Tara Watson & Lara Shore-Sheppard, 2010. "Local Fiscal Policies and Urban Wage Structures," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-05, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  61. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer, 2005. "History, Institutions, and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1190-1213, September.
  62. Michael Kremer, 1993. "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 681-716.
  63. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
  64. Gordon H. Hanson, 2007. "Emigration, remittances and labor force participation in Mexico," INTAL Working Papers 1456, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL.
  65. Maristella Botticini & Zvi Eckstein, 2007. "From Farmers to Merchants, Conversions and Diaspora: Human Capital and Jewish History," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(5), pages 885-926, 09.
  66. Osili, Una Okonkwo, 2007. "Remittances and savings from international migration: Theory and evidence using a matched sample," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 446-465, July.
  67. Nils-Petter Lagerlöf, 2006. "The Galor-Weil Model Revisited: A Quantitative Exercise," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(1), pages 116-142, January.
  68. 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.
  69. Funkhouser, Edward, 1995. "Remittances from International Migration: A Comparison of El Salvador and Nicaragua," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(1), pages 137-146, February.
  70. Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-548, June.
  71. Hong, Lu & Page, Scott E., 2001. "Problem Solving by Heterogeneous Agents," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 123-163, March.
  72. David S. Landes, 2006. "Why Europe and the West? Why Not China?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 3-22, Spring.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6319. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.