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Roots of Autocracy

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  • Oded Galor
  • Marc Klemp

Abstract

Exploiting a novel geo-referenced data set of population diversity across ethnic groups, this research advances the hypothesis and empirically establishes that variation in population diversity across human societies, as determined in the course of the exodus of human from Africa tens of thousands of years ago, contributed to the differential formation of pre-colonial autocratic institutions within ethnic groups and the emergence of autocratic institutions across countries. Diversity has amplified the importance of institutions in mitigating the adverse effects of non-cohesiveness on productivity, while contributing to the scope for domination, leading to the formation of institutions of the autocratic type.

Suggested Citation

  • Oded Galor & Marc Klemp, 2017. "Roots of Autocracy," NBER Working Papers 23301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23301
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Trung V. Vu, 2021. "Are genetic traits associated with riots? The political legacy of prehistorically determined genetic diversity," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 74(4), pages 567-595, November.
    3. Emilio Depetris-Chauvin & Ömer Özak, 2020. "The origins of the division of labor in pre-industrial times," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 297-340, September.
    4. Gründler, Klaus & Köllner, Sebastian, 2020. "Culture, diversity, and the welfare state," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 913-932.
    5. Alesina, A. & Passalacqua, A., 2016. "The Political Economy of Government Debt," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2599-2651, Elsevier.
    6. Emilio Depetris-Chauvin & Ömer Özak, 2018. "The Origins of the Division of Labor in Pre-modern Times," Departmental Working Papers 1803, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
    7. Ang, James B. & Madsen, Jakob B. & Wang, Wen, 2021. "Rice farming, culture and democracy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 136(C).
    8. Carillo, Mario Francesco, 2018. "Fascistville: Mussolini's New Towns and the Persistence of Neo-Fascism," MPRA Paper 96236, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 03 Oct 2019.
    9. Xue, Melanie Meng & Koyama, Mark, 2018. "Autocratic Rule and Social Capital: Evidence from Imperial China," MPRA Paper 84249, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Bonick, Matthew & Farfán-Vallespín, Antonio, 2018. "The reversal of fortune, extractive institutions and the historical roots of racism," The Constitutional Economics Network Working Papers 06-2018, University of Freiburg, Department of Economic Policy and Constitutional Economic Theory.
    11. Tiago Neves Sequeira & Marcelo Santos & Alexandra Ferreira-Lopes, 2019. "Human capital and genetic diversity," Eurasian Economic Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 9(3), pages 311-330, September.
    12. Faria, Hugo J. & Montesinos-Yufa, Hugo M. & Morales, Daniel R. & Navarro, Carlos E., 2016. "Unbundling the roles of human capital and institutions in economic development," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(S), pages 108-128.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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