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The Agricultural Origins of Time Preference

Oded Galor
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Ömer Özak

No 10122, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: This research explores the origins of the distribution of time preference across regions. It advances the hypothesis, and establishes empirically, that geographical variations in natural land productivity and their impact on the return to agricultural investment have had a persistent effect on the distribution of long-term orientation across societies. In particular, exploiting a natural experiment associated with the expansion of suitable crops for cultivation in the course of the Columbian Exchange, the research establishes that agro-climatic characteristics in the pre-industrial era that were conducive to higher return to agricultural investment, triggered selection and learning processes that had a persistent positive effect on the prevalence of long-term orientation in the contemporary era. This research explores the origins of the distribution of time preference across regions. It advances the hypothesis, and establishes empirically, that geographical variations in the incentives to delay consumption in favor of lucrative investment opportunities have had a persistent effect on the distribution of long-term orientation across societies. In particular, exploiting a natural experiment associated with the Columbian Exchange, the research establishes that agro-climatic characteristics in the pre-industrial era that were conducive to higher return to agricultural investment, triggered selection and learning processes that had a persistent positive effect on the prevalence of long-term orientation in the contemporary era.

Keywords: agriculture; Culture; Delayed gratification; Economic development; Economic growth; Evolution; Time preference (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O1 O4 Z1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr and nep-his
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (28)

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Related works:
Journal Article: The Agricultural Origins of Time Preference (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: The Agricultural Origins of Time Preference (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: The Agricultural Origins of Time Preference (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: The Agricultural Origins of Time Preference (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: The Agricultural Origins of Time Preference (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: The Agricultural Origins of Time Preference (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: The Agricultural Origins of Time Preference (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: The Agricultural Origins of Time Preference (2014) Downloads
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