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Ancestry and Development: New Evidence

Author

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  • Enrico Spolaore
  • Romain Wacziarg

Abstract

We revisit the relation between ancestral distance and barriers to the diffusion of development using a new genomic dataset on human microsatellite variation. With these new data we find a statistically and economic significant effect of ancestral distance from the technological frontier on income per capita, controlling for geographic factors, climatic differences, continental fixed effects and genetic diversity within populations. The historical pattern of the effect is hump shaped, peaking between 1870 and 1913, and declining steeply afterwards. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that ancestral distance acts as a temporary barrier to the diffusion of innovations and development.

Suggested Citation

  • Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2016. "Ancestry and Development: New Evidence," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0820, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  • Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0820
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2013. "How Deep Are the Roots of Economic Development?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(2), pages 325-369, June.
    2. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2011. "Robust Inference With Multiway Clustering," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 238-249, April.
    3. 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.
    4. Fearon, James D, 2003. "Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 195-222, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Krieger, Tim & Renner, Laura & Ruhose, Jens, 2018. "Long-term relatedness between countries and international migrant selection," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 35-54.
    2. repec:kap:reveho:v:16:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s11150-017-9369-x is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Reham Rizk & Ricardo Nogales, 2017. "Revisiting the Middle-Class Myth: Evidence From A Cross-Country Analysis of African Social Progress," Working Papers 1139, Economic Research Forum, revised 09 2003.
    4. repec:eee:labeco:v:52:y:2018:i:c:p:1-17 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Alpaslan Akay & Amelie Constant & Corrado Giulietti & Martin Guzi, 2017. "Ethnic diversity and well-being," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(1), pages 265-306, January.
    6. Fenske, James & Kala, Namrata, 2017. "Linguistic Distance and Market Integration in India," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 331, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    7. Gomes, Joseph, 2014. "The health costs of ethnic distance: evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-33, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    8. Javier Mejia, 2018. "Social Interactions and Modern Economic Growth," Documentos CEDE 016379, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    9. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-19-00020 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Victor Gay & Daniel L. Hicks & Estefania Santacreu-Vasut & Amir Shoham, 2018. "Decomposing culture: an analysis of gender, language, and labor supply in the household," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 879-909, December.
    11. Jacques Melitz & Farid Toubal, 2018. "Somatic Distance; Trust and Trade," Working Papers 2018-11, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    12. repec:eee:jcecon:v:46:y:2018:i:3:p:788-799 is not listed on IDEAS

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