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Climatic Fluctuations and the Diffusion of Agriculture

Quamrul Ashraf () and Stelios Michalopoulos ()

No 2015-07, Department of Economics Working Papers from Department of Economics, Williams College

Abstract: This research examines the climatic origins of the diffusion of Neolithic agriculture across countries and archaeological sites. The theory suggests that a foraging society's history of climatic shocks shaped the timing of its adoption of farming. Specifically, as long as climatic disturbances did not lead to a collapse of the underlying resource base, the rate at which hunter-gatherers were climatically propelled to experiment with their habitats determined the accumulation of tacit knowledge complementary to farming. Consistent with the proposed hypothesis, the empirical investigation demonstrates that, conditional on biogeographic endowments, climatic volatility has a hump-shaped effect on the timing of the adoption of agriculture.

Keywords: Hunting and gathering; agriculture; Neolithic Revolution; climatic volatility; Broad Spectrum Revolution; technological progress (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N50 O11 O13 O31 O33 O44 O57 Q56 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-env, nep-evo and nep-his
Date: 2014-04
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Published in the Review of Economics and Statistics, July 2015, 97(3), pp. 589-609.

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Journal Article: Climatic Fluctuations and the Diffusion of Agriculture (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Climatic Fluctuations and the Di¤usion of Agriculture (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Climatic Fluctuations and the Diffusion of Agriculture (2013) Downloads
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