The Neolithic Origins of Contemporary Variations in Life Expectancy
Brown University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, Department of Economics
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics; University of Warwick - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
October 26, 2007
This research advances an evolutionary theory and provides empirical evidence that shed new light on the origins of contemporary differences in life expectancy across countries. The theory suggests that social, economic and environmental changes that were associated with the Neolithic Revolution affected the nature of the environmental hazards confronted by the human population, triggering an evolutionary process that had a significant impact on human longevity. The empirical analysis shows that a significant portion of contemporary variations in life expectancy across countries can be traced to the differences in the time passed since the ancestors of the population of each country experienced the Neolithic Revolution.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 40
Keywords: Life Expectancy, Growth, Technological Progress, Evolution, Natural Selection, Malthusian Stagnation
JEL Classification: I12, J13, N3, O10working papers series
Date posted: October 28, 2007 ; Last revised: March 14, 2008
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