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Human Genetic Diversity and Comparative Economic Development

Quamrul Ashraf () and Oded Galor ()

No 6824, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: This research contributes to the understanding of human genetic diversity within a society as a significant determinant of its economic development. The hypothesis advanced and empirically examined in this paper suggests that there are socioeconomic trade-offs associated with genetic diversity within a given society. The investigation exploits an exogenous source of cross-country variation in genetic diversity by appealing to the "out of Africa" hypothesis of human origins to empirically establish a highly statistically significant and robust non-monotonic effect of genetic diversity on development outcomes in the pre-colonial era. Contrary to theories that reject a possible role for human genetics in influencing economic development, this study demonstrates the economic significance of diversity in genetic traits, while abstaining entirely from conceptual frameworks that posit a hierarchy of such traits in terms of their conduciveness to the process of economic development.

Keywords: Comparative development; Human genetic diversity; Land productivity; Malthusian stagnation; Neolithic Revolution; Population density (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N10 N30 N50 O10 O50 Z10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev and nep-evo
Date: 2008-05
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Related works:
Working Paper: The "Out of Africa" Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development (2012) Downloads
Working Paper: The "Out of Africa" Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development (2012) Downloads
Working Paper: The "Out of Africa" Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development (2011) Downloads
Working Paper: The "Out of Africa" Hypothesis, Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Development (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: Human Genetic Diversity and Comparative Economic Development (2008) Downloads
Working Paper: Human Genetic Diversity and Comparative Economic Development (2008)
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