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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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Time Since What? (Re)interpreting the Neolithic Transition in a Malthusian Environment

Time Since What? (Re)interpreting the Neolithic Transition in a Malthusian Environment

(p.263) 10 Time Since What? (Re)interpreting the Neolithic Transition in a Malthusian Environment
Demographic Change and Long-Run Development

Nils-Petter Lagerlöf

, Matteo Cervellati, Uwe Sunde
The MIT Press

This chapter provides a reinterpretation of the positive correlation between the time since the Neolithic transition and per-capita income before the economic and demographic transitions. It shows that in a simple Malthusian model, the differences in development might be amplified by territorial competition between societies or an upper bound on the rate of population growth, suggesting that superstructures, such as empires, and behavioral norms might have played a decisive role during this phase of development. The chapter argues, however, that while a useful theoretical insight, this simple extension of the Malthusian model is not itself sufficient to account quantitatively for the observed variation in both per-capita incomes and population densities.

Keywords:   Neolithic transition, per-capita income, demographic transitions, Malthusian model, population growth, superstructures, behavioral norms, population densities

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