DYNAMICS AND STAGNATION IN THE MALTHUSIAN EPOCH PDF

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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In each period ta generation consisting of L t identical individuals joins the workforce. The same methodology is also employed to obtain population density for countries that exist today but were part of a larger political unit e.

DYNAMICS AND STAGNATION IN THE MALTHUSIAN EPOCH

Results not shown from estimating these augmented first-difference specifications, however, are qualitatively similar to those obtained from estimating equations 17 and However, labor inflows in response to technological improvements in a given region would result in higher income per capita in all regions, implying that changes in the level of technology should be positively associated with changes in the standard of living.

Not surprisingly, as observed with earlier IV regressions, the causal impact of the Neolithic transition is, in each case, larger relative to its impact obtained under the OLS estimator, a pattern that is consistent with measurement error in the transition-timing variable and the resultant attenuation bias afflicting OLS coefficient estimates. The analysis proceeds by first establishing the causal effect of the Neolithic Revolution on subsequent technological progress.

Moreover, the level regressions in Table 7, indicating the significant positive relationship between the level of technology and population density but the absence of a systematic relationship with income per capita, could potentially reflect spurious correlations between technology and one or more unobserved time-invariant country fixed effects. Population, Food, and Knowledge: Table 11 presents the results from estimating equations 17 and Regarding the historical population data from McEvedy and Joneswhile some of their estimates remain controversial, particularly those for sub-Saharan Africa and pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, a recent assessment see, e.

This section establishes the significant positive effects of land productivity and the level of technological advancement, as proxied by the timing of the Neolithic Revolution, on population density in the year CE.

Log Industrial Technology in: These findings lend credence to the empirical strategy employed by this research to test the Malthusian theory. This section examines the Malthusian prediction regarding the neutrality of the standard of living with respect to land productivity and the level of technological advancement, as proxied by the timing of the Neolithic Revolution.

Columns 1—2 reveal the full-sample regression results for population density in the years CE and 1 CE. In contrast, the effects of land productivity and technology on income per capita in these periods are not significantly different from zero. These results are shown to be robust to controls for other geographical factors, including absolute latitude, access to waterways, distance to the nearest technological frontier, the percentage of land in tropical versus temperate climatic zones, and small island and landlocked dummies, all of which may have had an impact on aggregate productivity either directly, by affecting the productivity of land, or indirectly by affecting trade and the diffusion of technologies.

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Thus, for the year CE, a 1 percent increase in the number of years elapsed since the Neolithic Revolution raises population density by 1.

Summary — This figure tbe the partial regression line for the effect of transition timing land productivity on income per capita in the year CE, while controlling for the influence of land productivity malrhusian timingabsolute latitude, access to waterways, and continental fixed effects.

The effects of these explanatory channels on income per capita in the corresponding periods, however, are not significantly different from zero, a result that fully complies with Malthusian priors.

Production occurs according to a constant-returns-to-scale technology.

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.

To interpret the baseline effects of the variables of interest, a 1 percent increase in the number of years elapsed since the Neolithic Revolution raises population density in CE malthksian 1.

Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch

Across countries, those characterized by superior land productivity or a superior level of technology would have, all else equal, higher population densities in the long run, but their standards of living would not reflect the degree of their technological advancement.

However, unlike the overall index, the non-agricultural counterpart incorporates data on the sector-specific technology indices for only the communications, industrial i. This appendix section collects some supplementary figures referred to in the text, and presents some additional findings demonstrating the robustness of the main results.

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. Without continental fixed effects, the coefficient of interest in Column 1 is 1.

DYNAMICS AND STAGNATION IN THE MALTHUSIAN EPOCH

To the extent that the sample variation in income per capita may have been artificially introduced under the premise that technologically advanced societies, as reflected by their higher population densities, also enjoyed marginally higher standards of living, this weighting procedure would a priori amplify the manifestation of technological differences as differences in income per capita, and thus bias the results against Malthusian predictions.

First, in contrast to the dynamivs relationship between absolute latitude and contemporary income per capita, population density in pre-industrial times was on average higher at latitudinal bands closer to the equator. Following the aggregation methodology sagnation by Diego Comin, William Easterly, and Erick Gongthe index dynamkcs technology data on four sectors, including communications, industry i.

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In this regard, it is important to note that the analysis at hand exploits worldwide variation in such factors, which changes dramatically only in geological time.

DYNAMICS AND STAGNATION IN THE MALTHUSIAN EPOCH. – Dimensions

This research conducts a cross-country empirical analysis of the predictions of the influential Stagantion theory. Hence, while the assumption may not necessarily hold at a sub-regional level in some cases e.

Column 6 presents the IV regression results from estimating the baseline specification with log years since transition instrumented by the numbers of prehistoric domesticable species of plants and animals. Human Metabolism and the Origins of Agriculture. Thus, the x- and y-axes plot the residuals obtained from regressing maltyusian timing land productivity and population density, epovh, on the aforementioned set of covariates. Financial support from the Watson Institute at Brown University malthussian gratefully acknowledged.

The finding that the negative elasticity of income per capita with respect to distance to the frontier is not only statistically insignificant but also at least an order of magnitude smaller than that of population density confirms Malthusian priors that the gains from trade and technology diffusion dynamice primarily channeled into maltbusian growth rather than to improvements in living standards during pre-industrial times.

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 and, as such, distance to the frontier in CE is partly capturing the effect of the differential timing of the Neolithic transition itself.

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

Technological Sophistication and Population Density in CE and 1 CE Summary — This figure depicts the partial regression lines for the effect of technological sophistication on eppch density in the years CE and 1 CE, respectively, while controlling for the influence of land productivity, absolute latitude, access to waterways, and continental fixed effects.

The index of non-agricultural technology for a given year is based on the same underlying data and aggregation methodology discussed above for the overall technology index.