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

Natural Selection, Technological Progress, and the Origin of Human Longevity

Listed author(s):
  • Lothar Grall

    ()

    (Justus Liebig University Giessen)

This paper suggests that feedback effects between technological progress and human longevity lie at the heart of their common emergence in human history. It connects two major research questions. First, the long life span after menopause is a unique but puzzling feature of humans among primates. Second, the shift in human behavior at least 50,000 years ago, which led to an unprecedented pace of technological progress, is still not well understood. The paper develops an evolutionary growth theory that builds on the trade-off between the quantity and the quality of offspring. It suggests that early technological advances gradually increased the importance of intergenerational transfers of knowledge. Eventually, the fertility advantage shifted towards individuals that were characterized by higher parental investment in offspring and a significant post-reproductive life span. Subsequently, the rise in human longevity reinforced the process of development and laid the foundations for sustained technological progress. As a key feature, the theory resolves the debate about a “revolution” in human behavior in an entirely new way. It shows that a gradual emergence of modern behavior is sufficient to trigger a demographic shift that appears as a “behavioral revolution” in the archeological record.

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: https://www.uni-marburg.de/fb02/makro/forschung/magkspapers/paper_2016/45-2016_grall.pdf
File Function: First 201645
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung) in its series MAGKS Papers on Economics with number 201645.

as
in new window

Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 2016
Publication status: Forthcoming in
Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:201645
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Universitätsstraße 25, 35037 Marburg

Phone: 06421/28-1722
Fax: 06421/28-4858
Web page: http://www.uni-marburg.de/fb02/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

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. Bernard Dafflon, 2012. "Voluntary amalgamation of local governments: the Swiss debate in the European context," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1204, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-1056.
  3. Niklas Hanes & Magnus Wikström & Erik Wångmar, 2012. "Municipal Preferences for State-imposed Amalgamations: An Empirical Study Based on the Swedish Municipal Reform of 1952," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 49(12), pages 2733-2750, September.
  4. Frederic Blaeschke, 2014. "What drives small municipalities to cooperate? Evidence from Hessian municipalities," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201414, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  5. repec:hrv:faseco:4553034 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Eric Weese, 2015. "Political mergers as coalition formation: An analysis of the Heisei municipal amalgamations," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(2), pages 257-307, 07.
  7. Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Understanding Economic Policy Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 9-41, March.
  8. Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2014. "I Don't Care to Belong to Any Club That Will Have Me as a Member: Empirical Analysis of Municipal Mergers," Political Science Research and Methods, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(01), pages 97-117, April.
  9. Arild Gjertsen, 2014. "Legitimacy in Interlocal Partnerships: Balancing Efficiency and Democracy," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 51(9), pages 1926-1942, July.
  10. Ivo Bischoff & Lars-H. Siemers, 2013. "Biased beliefs and retrospective voting: why democracies choose mediocre policies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 163-180, July.
  11. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & Caroline Hoxby, 2004. "Political Jurisdictions in Heterogeneous Communities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 348-396, April.
  12. Brasington, David M., 1999. "Joint provision of public goods: the consolidation of school districts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 373-393, September.
  13. Blesse, Sebastian & Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2016. "Do municipal mergers reduce costs? Evidence from a German federal state," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 54-74.
  14. Germà Bel & Mildred E. Warner, 2016. "Factors explaining inter-municipal cooperation in service delivery: a meta-regression analysis," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 91-115, June.
  15. Reto Steiner, 2003. "The causes, spread and effects of intermunicipal cooperation and municipal mergers in Switzerland," Public Management Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(4), pages 551-571, December.
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:mar:magkse:201645. 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: (Bernd Hayo)

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.