Evolution and the Growth Process: Natural Selection of Entrepreneurial Traits

30 Pages Posted: 9 May 2011  

Oded Galor

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

Stelios Michalopoulos

Brown University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Date Written: May 3, 2011

Abstract

This research suggests that a Darwinian evolution of entrepreneurial spirit played a significant role in the process of economic development and the dynamics of inequality within and across societies. The study argues that entrepreneurial spirit evolved non-monotonically in the course of human history. In early stages of development, risk-tolerant, growth promoting traits generated an evolutionary advantage and their increased representation accelerated the pace of technological progress and the process of economic development. In mature stages of development, however, risk-averse traits gained an evolutionary advantage, diminishing the growth potential of advanced economies and contributing to convergence in economic growth across countries.

Keywords: Risk Aversion, Growth, Technological Progress, Evolution, Natural Selection

JEL Classification: O11, O14, O33, O40, J11, J13

Suggested Citation

Galor, Oded and Michalopoulos, Stelios, Evolution and the Growth Process: Natural Selection of Entrepreneurial Traits (May 3, 2011). MIT Department of Economics Working Paper No. 11-07. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1831783 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1831783

Oded Galor (Contact Author)

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/

Stelios Michalopoulos

Brown University - Department of Economics ( email )

64 Waterman Street
Providence, RI 02912
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/steliosecon/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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