The 'Out of Africa' Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development

109 Pages Posted: 13 May 2011 Last revised: 1 Nov 2013

See all articles by Quamrul H. Ashraf

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 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 11, 2012

Abstract

This research advances and empirically establishes the hypothesis that, in the course of the prehistoric exodus of Homo sapiens out of Africa, variation in migratory distance to various settlements across the globe affected genetic diversity and has had a long-lasting hump-shaped effect on comparative economic development, reflecting the trade-off between the beneficial and the detrimental effects of diversity on productivity. While intermediate levels of genetic diversity prevalent among Asian and European populations have been conducive for development, the high diversity of African populations and the low diversity of Native American populations have been detrimental for the development of these regions.

Keywords: The “Out of Africa” hypothesis, Human genetic diversity, Comparative development, Income per capita, Population density, Neolithic Revolution, Land productivity

JEL Classification: N10, N30, N50, O10, O50, Z10

Suggested Citation

Ashraf, Quamrul H. and Galor, Oded, The 'Out of Africa' Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development (August 11, 2012). American Economic Review, Forthcoming; MIT Department of Economics Working Paper No. 11-08. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1836790 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1836790

Quamrul H. Ashraf

Williams College - Department of Economics ( email )

24 Hopkins Hall Drive
Williamstown, MA 01267
United States
(413) 597-2476 (Phone)
(413) 597-4045 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://econ.williams.edu/profile/qha1/

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)

London
United Kingdom

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

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