IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/sfu/sfudps/dp13-11.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Colonization and Genetics of Comparative Development

Author

Listed:

Abstract

This paper examines the hypothesis that genealogical closeness to populations that are at the frontier of technological innovations facilitates the diffusion of development (e.g., Spolaore and Wacziarg, 2009). Proponents of this hypothesis argue that it is supported by a strong negative cross-country correlation between genetic distance to the United States and income per capita. This paper argues that there is no causal relationship between these two variables. This is because there are important variables, such as European settler mortality at the time of colonization that simultaneously affect countries' genetic distance to the technological frontier and their current economic performance. Controlling for confounding factors removes the statistical association between genetic distance and economic performance. IV estimates also confirm the lack of significant statistical relationship between genetic distance and economic performance. Further, fixed effect estimates show that those countries that became genetically closer to the world technological frontier over the past 500 years did not become richer because of it.

Suggested Citation

  • Ideen A. Riahi, 2013. "Colonization and Genetics of Comparative Development," Discussion Papers dp13-11, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University, revised 29 Oct 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:sfu:sfudps:dp13-11
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sfu.ca/econ-research/RePEc/sfu/sfudps/dp13-11.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2012. "Long-Term Barriers to the International Diffusion of Innovations," NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 11-46.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2008. "Income and Democracy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 808-842, June.
    3. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
    4. Luis Angeles, 2012. "Is there a role for genetics in economic development?," Working Papers 2012_02, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    5. Louis Putterman & David N. Weil, 2010. "Post-1500 Population Flows and The Long-Run Determinants of Economic Growth and Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1627-1682.
    6. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, September.
    7. Douglas L. Campbell & Ju Hyun Pyun, 2017. "The Diffusion of Development: Along Genetic or Geographic Lines?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 198-210, March.
    8. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 2016. "The European origins of economic development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 225-257, September.
    9. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    10. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2009. "Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1095-1131.
    11. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1998. "Geography and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 6849, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Bockstette, Valerie & Chanda, Areendam & Putterman, Louis, 2002. "States and Markets: The Advantage of an Early Start," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 347-369, December.
    13. Klaus Desmet & Michel Le Breton & Ignacio Ortuno-Ortin & Shlomo Weber, 2008. "Stability of Nations and Genetic Diversity," Working Papers 003-08, International School of Economics at TSU, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia.
    14. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1998. "Geography and Economic Development," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1856, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:wly:jintdv:v:29:y:2017:i:2:p:198-210 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Douglas L. Campbell & Ju Hyun Pyun, 2017. "The Diffusion of Development: Along Genetic or Geographic Lines?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 198-210, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Genetic Distance; Comparative Development; Colonization; Institutions;

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O50 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - General
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sfu:sfudps:dp13-11. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Working Paper Coordinator). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/desfuca.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.