Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch by Quamrul Ashraf and Oded Galor. Published in volume , issue 5, pages of American Economic. This paper empirically tests the predictions of the Malthusian theory with respect to both population dynamics and income per capita stagnation. This paper examines the central hypothesis of the influential Malthusian theory, according to which improvements in the technological environment during the.

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Theory and Evidence This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: These variables are constructed by the authors based on information reported by the CIA in The World Factbook online resource. The stability patterns exhibited by the magnitude and significance of the coefficients on the explanatory variables of interest in Tables 3 — 4 are strikingly similar to those observed in the CE analysis. The Lawrence R. Thus, for the year CE, a 1 percent increase in the number of years elapsed since the Neolithic Revolution raises population density by 1.

Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch

Population, Technology, and Growth: Author manuscript; available in PMC Dec Olsson Ola, Hibbs Douglas A. Can Epidemics Explain the Three Regimes? The same methodology is also employed to obtain population density for countries that exist today but were part of a larger political unit e. Specifically, it establishes that the results for population density and income per capita in CE are robust under two alternative specifications that relax potential constraints imposed by the baseline regression models, including i the treatment of the Americas as a single entity in accounting for continental fixed effects, and ii the employment of only the common variation in the logs of the percentage of arable land and the index of agricultural suitability when accounting for the stagnstion of the land-productivity channel by way of the first principal component of these two variables.


Peregrine prevents the construction of a corresponding technology measure for the year CE. The most comprehensive worldwide cross-country historical estimates of population and income per capita since the year 1 CE have been assembled by Colin McEvedy and Richard Jones and Angus Maddison respectively.


The qualitative similarity of the results across periods also suggests that the empirical findings are indeed more plausibly associated with the Malthusian theory as opposed to being consistently generated by spurious correlations between population density and the explanatory variables of interest across the different historical periods.

Quamrul Ashraf and Oded Galor. As before, the independent and combined explanatory powers of the transition-timing and land-productivity channels are examined while dynamicw for other geographical factors and unobserved continental characteristics. Hence, individuals will be able to afford more children.


Given that historical population estimates are also available from Maddisonalbeit for a smaller set of countries than McEvedy and JonesTable D. Exploiting exogenous stagjation of cross-country variations in land productivity and the level of technological advancement, the analysis eepoch that, in accordance with the theory, technological superiority and higher land productivity had significant positive effects on population density but insignificant effects on the standard of living, during the time period CE.

To allow fair comparisons with the results from subsequent IV regressions, Columns 2 and 5 repeat the preceding OLS analyses but on the subsample of countries for which data on the biogeographical instruments for the timing of the Neolithic Revolution are available.

This measure, reported by Louis Puttermanis compiled using a wide variety of both regional and country-specific archaeological studies as well as more general encyclopedic works on the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture during the Neolithic.

In particular, log land productivity is the first principal component of the logs of these variables, capturing 83 percent of their combined variation.

Overall, the results from the first-difference estimation strategy pursued in this section lend further credence to the Malthusian interpretation of the level regression results presented in earlier sections. To allow meaningful comparisons between IV and OLS coefficient estimates, Column 5 repeats the baseline OLS regression analysis on this particular subsample of countries, revealing that the coefficients on the explanatory variables of interest remain largely stable in terms of both magnitude and significance compared to those estimated using the baseline sample.


Population Growth and Technological Change: In particular, since most of the cross-sectional variation in the numbers of prehistoric domesticable species of wild plants and animals, as reported by Ola Olsson and Douglas A. The technology index for a given culture is thus the unweighted average across sectors of the sector-specific indices for that culture. The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity: Financial support from the Watson Institute at Brown University is gratefully acknowledged.

In the communications sector, the index is assigned a value of 0 under the absence of both true writing and mnemonic or non-written records, a value of 1 under the presence of only mnemonic or non-written records, and a value of 2 under the presence of both.

Search for items with the same title. The evolution of income per worker is determined by the initial level of income per worker and the number of surviving children per adult. Hansen and Edward C. In addition, while mmalthusian relationship between contemporaneous changes in technology and population density or income per capita could reflect reverse causality, this endogeneity issue may be alleviated somewhat by examining the impact of the lagged change in technology on changes in population density mwlthusian income per capita.

In particular, as a result of agglomeration and latitudinally-specific technology diffusion, the initial advantage enjoyed by equatorial societies during the Malthusian epoch became more pronounced over time. A Simple Unified Growth Theory. Guns, Germs and Steel: In light of dhnamics potential endogeneity of population and technological progress Boserup,this research develops a novel identification strategy to examine the hypothesized effects of technological advancement on population density and income per capita.