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Evolution and the Growth Process: Natural Selection of Entrepreneurial Traits

  • Oded Galor
  • Stelios Michalopoulos

This research suggests that a Darwinian evolution of entrepreneurial spirit played a significant role in the process of economic development and the dynamics of inequality within and across societies. The study argues that entrepreneurial spirit evolved non-monotonically in the course of human history. In early stages of development, risk-tolerant, growth promoting traits generated an evolutionary advantage and their increased representation accelerated the pace of technological progress and the process of economic development. In mature stages of development, however, risk-averse traits gained an evolutionary advantage, diminishing the growth potential of advanced economies and contributing to convergence in economic growth across countries.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17075.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17075.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Publication status: published as Journal of Economic Theory, March 2012, 147(2): 759-780
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17075
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