Stone Age Economics: The Origins of Agriculture and the Emergence of Non-Food Specialists
This paper examines the prehistoric shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture. Among hunters and gatherers, all community members were engaged in food provision. Agricultural societies, in contrast, avail themselves of non-food specialists. This paper argues that the adoption of agriculture necessitated the introduction of non-food specialists. Since the release of labour from food generating activities stimulates economic development, this implies that the shift to agriculture literally bore the seeds of later economic growth. The model shows, in accordance with archaeological evidence, that hunters and gatherers, faced with redistribution costs arising from division of labour, delay the adoption of agricultural techniques for a period of time, after which a large step forward in food procurement technology–a ’Neolithic revolution’–is associated with the shift to farming.
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- Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2000.
"Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth,"
2000:5, Institute for Futures Studies.
- Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2002. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1133-1191.
- Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of economic Growth," Working Papers 2000-18, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2001. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2727, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Tamura, Robert, 2002. "Human capital and the switch from agriculture to industry," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 207-242, December.
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