The Continental Axis Theory Revisited
26 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 21 Aug 2011
Date Written: 2011
This paper provides an empirical test of Jared Diamond’s acclaimed continental axis theory of economic transformation. This variable is the most difficult of Diamond’s several explanatory factors to test, given that the number of continents is too few for statistical analysis. This paper provides a test of one observable implication of this thesis, namely that indigenous languages are more likely to be superseded by imperial languages the more state expansion moves either east or west. It provides significant (though not substantively large or robust) confirmation of it.
Keywords: Continental Axis, Linguistic Persistence, Ethnic Fractionalization
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