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Germs, Social Networks and Growth

Alessandra Fogli () and Laura Veldkamp

No 9188, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: Does the pattern of social connections between individuals matter for macroeconomic outcomes? If so, how does this effect operate and how big is it? Using network analysis tools, we explore how different social structures affect technology diffusion and thereby a country’s rate of technological progress. The network model also explains why societies with a high prevalence of contagious disease might evolve toward growth-inhibiting social institutions and how small initial differences can produce large divergence in incomes. Empirical work uses differences in the prevalence of diseases spread by human contact and the prevalence of other diseases as an instrument to identify an effect of social structure on technology diffusion.

Keywords: development; disease; economic networks; growth; pathogens; social networks; technology diffusion (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E02 I1 O1 O33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-hea, nep-mac, nep-net and nep-soc
Date: 2012-10
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Working Paper: Germs, Social Networks and Growth (2012) Downloads
Working Paper: Germs, Social Networks, and Growth (2012) Downloads
Working Paper: Germs, Social Networks and Growth (2012) Downloads
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