Climatic Fluctuations and the Diffusion of Agriculture

49 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2013 Last revised: 19 Apr 2013

See all articles by Quamrul H. Ashraf

Quamrul H. Ashraf

Williams College - Department of Economics

Stelios Michalopoulos

Brown University - Department of Economics; Brown University

Date Written: February 2013

Abstract

This research examines the climatic origins of the diffusion of Neolithic agriculture across countries and archaeological sites. The theory suggests that a foraging society s history of climatic shocks shaped the timing of its adoption of farming. Specifically, as long as climatic disturbances did not lead to a collapse of the underlying resource base, the rate at which hunter-gatherers were climatically propelled to experiment with their habitats determined the accumulation of tacit knowledge complementary to farming. Consistent with the proposed hypothesis, the empirical investigation demonstrates that, conditional on biogeographic endowments, climatic volatility has a hump-shaped effect on the timing of the adoption of agriculture.

Suggested Citation

Ashraf, Quamrul H. and Michalopoulos, Stelios, Climatic Fluctuations and the Diffusion of Agriculture (February 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w18765, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2210784

Quamrul H. Ashraf (Contact Author)

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/

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/

Brown University ( email )

Box 1860
Providence, RI 02912
United States

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