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Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch

  • Quamrul Ashraf
  • Oded Galor

This paper examines the central hypothesis of the influential Malthusian theory, according to which improvements in the technological environment during the pre-industrial era had generated only temporary gains in income per capita, eventually leading to a larger, but not significantly richer, population. Exploiting exogenous sources of cross-country variations in land productivity and the level of technological advancement the analysis demonstrates that, in accordance with the theory, technological superiority and higher land productivity had significant positive effects on population density but insignificant effects on the standard of living, during the time period 1-1500 CE.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17037.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17037.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Publication status: published as Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2011. "Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2003-41, August.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17037
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  19. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2008. "Human Genetic Diversity and Comparative Economic Development," 2008 Meeting Papers 617, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  23. Stelios Michalopoulos, 2008. "The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity: Theory and Evidence," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0725, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  24. Kevin H. O'Rourke, Ahmed S. Rahman and Alan M. Taylor, 2008. "Luddites and the Demographic Transition," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp266, IIIS.
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