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The "Out of Africa" Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development

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This research advances and empirically establishes the hypothesis that, in the course of the prehistoric exodus of Homo sapiens out of Africa, variation in migratory distance to various settlements across the globe affected genetic diversity and has had a persistent hump-shaped effect on comparative economic development, reflecting the trade-off between the beneficial and the detrimental effects of diversity on productivity. While the low diversity of Native American populations and the high diversity of African populations have been detrimental for the development of these regions, the intermediate levels of diversity associated with European and Asian populations have been conducive for development.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Center for Development Economics with number 2010-03.

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Length: 111 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision: Dec 2012
Publication status: Published in the American Economic Review, February 2013, 103(1), pp. 1-46.
Handle: RePEc:wil:wilcde:2010-03
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Web page: http://econ.williams.edu
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