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The Neolithic Revolution from a price-theoretic perspective

The adoption of agriculture, some 10,000 years ago, triggered the first demographic explosion in human history. When fertility fell back to its original level, early farmers found themselves worse fed than the previous hunter-gatherers, and worked longer hours to make ends meet. I develop a dynamic, price-theoretic model with endogenous fertility that rationalises these events. The results are driven by the reduction in the cost of children that followed the adoption of agriculture.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 10069.

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Date of creation: 16 Aug 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:10069
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  1. Locay, Luis, 1989. "From Hunting and Gathering to Agriculture," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(4), pages 737-56, July.
  2. Michele Boldrin & Larry E. Jones, 2002. "Mortality, Fertility, and Saving in a Malthusian Economy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 775-814, October.
  3. Nicolas Marceau & Gordon Myers, 2005. "On the Early Holocene: Foraging to Early Agriculture," Cahiers de recherche 0502, CIRPEE.
  4. Arthur J. Robson, 2010. "A bioeconomic view of the Neolithic transition to agriculture," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(1), pages 280-300, February.
  5. Razin, Assaf & Ben-Zion, Uri, 1975. "An Intergenerational Model of Population Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 923-33, December.
  6. Nerlove, Marc & Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1986. "Endogenous Population with Public Goods and Malthusian Fixed Resources: Efficiency or Market Failure," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(3), pages 601-09, October.
  7. Seabright, Paul, 2008. "Warfare and the Multiple Adoption of Agriculture After the Last Ice Age," IDEI Working Papers 522, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  8. Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Strulik, Holger, 2011. "The Physiological Foundations of the Wealth of Nations," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-480, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  9. Jacob L. Weisdorf, 2003. "From Foraging to Farming: Explaining the Neolithic Revolution," Discussion Papers 03-41, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  10. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2008. "Malthusian Population Dynamics: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 2008-6, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  11. Eckstein, Zvi & Stern, Steven & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1988. "Fertility Choice, Land, and the Malthusian Hypothesis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(2), pages 353-61, May.
  12. Nils-Petter Lagerl�f, 2009. "Slavery and Other Property Rights -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 319-342.
  13. Jacob Weisdorf, 2008. "Why did the First Farmers Toil? Human Metabolism and the Origins of Agriculture," Discussion Papers 08-15, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  14. Gregory Dow & Clyde Reed & Nancy Olewiler, 2009. "Climate reversals and the transition to agriculture," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 27-53, March.
  15. Smith, Vernon L, 1975. "The Primitive Hunter Culture, Pleistocene Extinction, and the Rise of Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 727-55, August.
  16. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
  17. Jacob L. Weisdorf, 2003. "Stone Age Economics: The Origins of Agriculture and the Emergence of Non-Food Specialists," Discussion Papers 03-34, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
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