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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Harvard Business School Working Paper 09— Wpoch of Economic Growth. The analysis proceeds by first establishing the causal effect of the Neolithic Revolution on subsequent technological progress.
Explaining the Neolithic Revolution. The empirical examination of the central hypothesis of the Malthusian theory exploits exogenous sources of cross-country variation in land productivity and technological levels to examine their hypothesized differential effects on population density and income per capita during staynation time period 1— CE. This pattern may, in part, reflect increasing returns associated with societies residing closer to the equator during the Malthusian stage of development.
Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. 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 stagnahion.
Regression 4 corresponds to the first stage of both regressions 3 and 6 in Table 8. Nevertheless, despite exacerbating any systematic bias in favor of rejecting the theory, the results obtained under this weighting procedure continue to demonstrate the insignificance of the land-productivity and transition-timing channels for income per capita in all three historical periods. 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.
Columns 1—2 reveal the full-sample regression results for population density in the years CE and 1 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.
In line with this assertion, Table 1 reveals preliminary results indicating that an earlier onset of the Neolithic Revolution is indeed positively and significantly correlated with the level of technological sophistication in non-agricultural sectors of the economy in the years CE and 1 CE.
Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch
Appendix D Supplementary Results This appendix section collects some supplementary figures referred to in the text, and presents some additional findings demonstrating the robustness of the main results. Historical population estimates are provided for regions corresponding to either individual countries or, in some cases, to sets comprised of 2—3 neighboring countries e. Thus, examining the effect of a change in technology on changes in population density versus income per capita, as opposed to the impact of the level of technology on the levels of population density versus income per capita, constitutes a more discriminatory test of the Malthusian model.
For additional details, the reader is referred to Ashraf and Galor Results not shown from estimating these augmented first-difference specifications, however, are qualitatively similar to those obtained from estimating equations 17 and The regression in Column 2 extends the robustness analysis of Column 1 by adding controls for the percentage of land in temperate and tropical zones.
Given that historical population estimates are also available from Maddisonalbeit for a smaller set of countries than McEvedy and JonesTable D. Technologically superior economies ultimately had denser populations but their standard of living did not reflect their technological advancement. Table 10 Additional Robustness Checks.
Thus, variations in favorable biogeographical factors i. How did the Malthusian Economy Really Evolve?
Population Growth and Technological Change: Specifically, the level regression results dnamics be explained by the following non-Malthusian theory. 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 adn of land, or indirectly, by affecting the prevalence of trade and technology diffusion.
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. 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.
DYNAMICS AND STAGNATION IN THE MALTHUSIAN EPOCH
To the mxlthusian 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 malthsian per capita, and thus bias the results against Malthusian predictions.
Table 11 presents the results from estimating equations 17 and In a world where labor is perfectly mobile, regions with higher aggregate productivity would experience labor inflows until regional wage rates were equalized, implying that, in levels, technology should be positively associated with population density but should not be correlated with income per capita across regions. Harvard University Press; Thus, in accordance with the Malthusian paradigm, income has a positive effect on the number of surviving children.
First, it establishes that the onset of the Neolithic Revolution, which 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.
Second, the paper also establishes the importance of technological diffusion in the pre-industrial world. Make War, Not Love.
EconPapers: Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch
The estimated IV coefficients indicate a much larger causal impact of technology on population density, with a 1 percent increase in the level of technological sophistication in CE and 1 CE raising population density in the respective time periods by A Simple Unified Growth Theory. In particular, the analysis compares the results from estimating the following empirical models:.
Summary — This figure depicts, using the income per capita data-restricted samplethe 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.
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. Census Bureau finds that their aggregate estimates indeed compare favorably with those obtained from other studies.
Log Land Productivity 0. 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. In particular, as a result of agglomeration and latitudinally-specific technology diffusion, the initial advantage dhnamics by equatorial societies during the Malthusian epoch became more pronounced over time.
This permits a more transparent assessment of the argument that the Neolithic Revolution triggered a cumulative process of development, fueled by the emergence and propagation of a non-food producing class within agricultural societies that enabled sociocultural and technological advancements over and above subsistence activities.
Log Income per Capita in: Ashraf Quamrul, Galor Oded. Columns 3—6 reveal the robustness of the results for income per capita as well as population density in the income per capita data-restricted sample, under controls for the technology-diffusion channel and additional geographical factors. 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.
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.
In comparison to the relevant baseline regressions presented in Columns 1 and 4 of Table 5the coefficients associated with the transition-timing and land-productivity channels remain both qualitatively and quantitatively stable.
As the economy develops and wages increase, the time cost will rise proportionately with the increase in income, but the cost in terms of goods will decline.