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The Neolithic Revolution from a price-theoretic perspective

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Guzmán, Ricardo Andrés, 2008. "The Neolithic Revolution from a price-theoretic perspective," MPRA Paper 10069, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:10069
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Weisdorf, Jacob, 2009. "Why did the first farmers toil? Human metabolism and the origins of agriculture," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(02), pages 157-172, August.
    8. 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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    10. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Quamrul Ashraf & Stelios Michalopoulos, 2015. "Climatic Fluctuations and the Diffusion of Agriculture," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(3), pages 589-609, July.
    2. Lemin Wu & Rohan Dutta & David K Levine & Nicholas W Papageorge, 2014. "Entertaining Malthus: Bread, Circuses and Economic Growth," Levine's Bibliography 786969000000000853, UCLA Department of Economics.
    3. Tisdell, Clem & Svizzero, Serge, 2016. "Different Behavioral Explanations of the Neolithic Transition from Foraging to Agriculture: A Review," Economic Theory, Applications and Issues Working Papers 229769, University of Queensland, School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Paleoeconomics; Neolithic Revolution; hunter-gatherers; Malthus;

    JEL classification:

    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • N5 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries

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