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.

Author: Faektilar Gobar
Country: French Guiana
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Technology
Published (Last): 20 November 2005
Pages: 74
PDF File Size: 18.45 Mb
ePub File Size: 10.54 Mb
ISBN: 860-6-98272-202-7
Downloads: 36115
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Zolocage

It establishes that the onset of the Neolithic Revolution that marked the transition of societies from hunting and gathering to agriculture, as early as 10, years ago, triggered a sequence of technological advancements that had a significant effect on the level of technology in the Middle Ages.

Substituting 2 and 5 into 6the time path of the working population is governed by the first-order difference equation:. Thus, at any given point in time, a society that experienced the Neolithic Revolution earlier would have a longer history of these aftershocks and would therefore reflect a larger steady-state population size or, equivalently, a higher steady-state population density.


The distance, in thousands of kilometers, from a GIS grid cell to the nearest ice-free coastline or sea-navigable river, averaged across the grid cells of a country. Percentage of Land within km of Coast or River. Finally, the study establishes that the results are not driven by unobserved time-invariant country fixed effects.

Can Epidemics Explain the Three Regimes?

Log Transportation Technology in: Following the aggregation methodology adopted by Diego Comin, William Easterly, and Erick Gongthe index employs technology data on four sectors, including communications, industry i. The Lawrence R.

Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch

The evolution of income per worker is determined by the initial level of income per worker and the number of surviving children per adult. From Stagnation to Growth: Tufts University Discussion Paper These variables are obtained from the dataset of Ola Olsson and Douglas A.

Crafts Nicholas, Mills Terence C. Indeed, the lower magnitude of the coefficient associated with the transition-timing channel is attributable to the fact that several frontiers in the year CE, including Egypt, China, and Mexico, were also centers of diffusion of agricultural practices during the Neolithic Revolution stahnation, as such, distance to the frontier in CE is partly capturing the effect of the differential timing of the Neolithic transition itself.

Specifically, the technology-diffusion hypothesis suggests that spatial proximity to societies at the world technology frontier confers a beneficial effect on development by facilitating the diffusion anx new technologies from the frontier through trade as well vynamics sociocultural and geopolitical influences.

Epoc current investigation thus examines the effect of the change in the level of technology between the years BCE and 1 CE on the change in population density, versus its effect on the change in income per capita, over the 1— CE time horizon.


In particular, the diffusion channel implies that, ceteris paribusthe greater the geographical distance from the technological leaders in a given period, the lower the level of economic development amongst the followers in that period.

In light of the potential endogeneity of population and technological progress, this research develops a novel identification strategy to examine the hypothesized effects of technological advancement on population density and income per capita. Atlas of Cultural Evolution. Was the Wealth of Nations Determined in B. This section establishes the robustness of the results for population density and income per capita in the year CE with respect to the spatial influence of technological frontiers, as well as other geographical factors such as climate and small island and landlocked dummies, all of which may have had an effect on aggregate productivity either directly, by affecting the productivity of land, or indirectly, by affecting the prevalence of trade and technology diffusion.

Although the growth of income per capita was minuscule over the Malthusian epoch, in the course of the Malthusian interaction between technology and population, technological progress intensified and world population significantly increased in size — a dynamism that was instrumental for the emergence of economies from the Malthusian trap. For each time period examined, the regressions for income per capita and population density reveal, exploiting identical variations in explanatory variables, that the estimated elasticity of population density with respect to the degree of technological sophistication is not only highly statistically significant, but at least an order of magnitude larger than the corresponding elasticity of income per capita.

Olsson Ola, Hibbs Douglas A.

EconPapers: Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch

In particular, the estimated elasticities of population density with respect to these channels are about an order of magnitude larger than the corresponding elasticities of income per capita regardless of the set of additional controls included in the specification. The Conditions of Agricultural Growth: For the CE analysis, the additional sampling bias introduced on OLS estimates by moving to the IV-restricted subsample in Column 5 is similar to that observed earlier in Table 2whereas the bias appears somewhat larger for the analysis in 1 CE.

In particular, the robustness analysis exploits cross-country variation in the change in the level of technological sophistication between the years BCE and 1 CE to explain the cross-country variations in the change in population density and the change stagnatiln income per capita over the 1— CE time horizon. With respect to additional results demonstrating robustness, Table D.

Malthussuggests that the worldwide stagnation in income per capita during the pre-industrial epoch reflected the counterbalancing effect of population growth on the expansion of resources, in an environment characterized by the positive effect of the standard of living on population growth along with diminishing labor productivity.


The Malthusian theory has been a central pillar in the interpretation of the process of development during the pre-industrial era and in the exploration of the forces that brought about the transition from stagnation to growth. Dalgaard Carl-Johan, Strulik Holger.


The explanatory power of the regression in Column 3 improves by an additional 7 percentage points once controls for access to waterways are accounted for in Column 4, which constitutes the baseline regression specification for population density in CE.

However, unlike the overall index, the non-agricultural counterpart incorporates data on the sector-specific technology indices for only the communications, industrial i. Individuals generate utility from consumption and the number of their surviving children: Population Growth and Technological Change: The remainder of the analysis in this section is concerned with establishing the causal effect of technology on population density in the years CE and 1 CE.

Specifically, they provide evidence justifying the use of the exogenous source of cross-country variation in the timing of the Neolithic Revolution as a proxy for the variation in the level of technological advancement across countries during the agricultural stage of development.

This pattern is consistent with attenuation bias afflicting the OLS coefficient as a result of ztagnation error in the transition-timing variable.

The same methodology is also employed to obtain population density for countries that exist today but were part of a larger political unit e. Dynwmics historical income per capita data are available for a relatively smaller set of countries, the analysis at hand also conducts corresponding tests for population density using the income per capita data-restricted samples for the three historical stafnation. Table 5 presents the results from estimating the baseline empirical model, as specified in equation 16for income per capita in the years CE, CE and 1 CE.

Summary — This figure depicts the partial regression line for the effect of transition timing land productivity on population density in the year 1 CE, while controlling for the influence of land productivity transition timingabsolute latitude, access to waterways, and continental fixed effects.

In particular, the estimated coefficients associated with the period-specific technology indices in Columns 1—2 of Table 7 may, in part, be capturing reverse causality, due to the potential scale effect of population on technological progress, as well as the latent influence of unobserved country-specific characteristics that are correlated with both technology and population density.