Was the Wealth of Nations Determined in 1000 B.C.?

39 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2008

See all articles by William Easterly

William Easterly

The Brookings Institution

Diego Comin

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Erick Gong

Middlebury College

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2007


We assemble a dataset on technology adoption in 1000 B.C., 0 A.D., and 1500 A.D. for the predecessors of today's nation states. We find that this very old history of technology adoption is surprisingly significant for today's national development outcomes. Although our strongest results are for 1500 A.D., we find that even technology as old as 1000 B.C. is associated with today's outcomes in some plausible specifications.

Keywords: Africa growth and development, global economics, development, technology

Suggested Citation

Easterly, William and Comin, Diego and Gong, Erick, Was the Wealth of Nations Determined in 1000 B.C.? (September 2007). Brookings Global Economy and Development Working Paper No. 10, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1080298 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1080298

William Easterly (Contact Author)

The Brookings Institution ( email )

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Diego Comin

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Erick Gong

Middlebury College ( email )

Middlebury, VT 05753
United States

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