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Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch

56 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2010 Last revised: 4 Jul 2012

Quamrul H. Ashraf

Williams College - Department of Economics

Oded Galor

Brown University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 3, 2011

Abstract

This paper examines the central hypothesis of the influential Malthusian theory, according to which improvements in the technological environment during the pre-industrial era had generated only temporary gains in income per capita, eventually leading to a larger, but not significantly richer, population. Exploiting exogenous sources of cross-country variations in land productivity and the level of technological advancement the analysis demonstrates that, in accordance with the theory, technological superiority and higher land productivity had significant positive effects on population density but insignificant effects on the standard of living, during the time period 1-1500 CE.

Keywords: Technological Progress, Population Density, Malthusian Stagnation, Land Productivity, Neolithic Revolution

JEL Classification: N10, N30, N50, O10, O40, O50

Suggested Citation

Ashraf, Quamrul H. and Galor, Oded, Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch (May 3, 2011). American Economic Review, Vol. 101, No. 5, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1546257 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1546257

Quamrul H. Ashraf (Contact Author)

Williams College - Department of Economics ( email )

Fernald House
Williamstown, MA 01267
United States

Oded Galor

Brown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Providence, RI 02912
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.brown.edu/fac/Oded_Galor/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.brown.edu/fac/Oded_Galor/

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