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Demographic Change and Long-Run Development$
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Matteo Cervellati and Uwe Sunde

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262036627

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262036627.001.0001

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The Long Shadow of History: The Biogeographical Origins of Comparative Economic Development

The Long Shadow of History: The Biogeographical Origins of Comparative Economic Development

Chapter:
(p.29) 2 The Long Shadow of History: The Biogeographical Origins of Comparative Economic Development
Source:
Demographic Change and Long-Run Development
Author(s):

Oded Galor

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262036627.003.0002

This chapter explains how the growing evidence for the relevance of preindustrial policies naturally questions the endogenous emergence of the institutions and the environmental conditions that favored their implementation. The literature recently moved to exploring the determinants of the economic and demographic transitions, and hence of comparative developmental patterns, in the very long run. Examples of these newly explored factors are the persistent effects of historical events, such as the spread of humans across the globe and the differential timing of the Neolithic transition in different regions of the world. Another aspect in this context is geographical variation in agricultural suitability, which shaped the incentives for long-term investment, delayed consumption, and might have generated variability in the long-term orientation across societies.

Keywords:   preindustrial policies, endogenous emergence, environmental conditions, demographic transitions, developmental patterns, geographical variation, agricultural suitability

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