Eurasia Advantage, Not Genetic Diversity: Against Ashraf and Galor's 'Genetic Diversity' Hypothesis

Historical Social Research 41 (2016) 1, 287-327

Posted: 21 Apr 2016

See all articles by Shiping Tang

Shiping Tang

Fudan University - School of International Relations and Public Affairs (SIRPA)

Date Written: April 13, 2016

Abstract

Ashraf and Galor (2012) advanced the bold thesis that genetic diversity within different human populations has been a foundational determinant of long-run economic development. We show that their results are not robust after controlling for a key missing variable – the Eurasia dummy. After controlling for the Eurasia dummy, all indicators of genetic diversity lose statistical significance in regressions with indicators of economic development as dependent variables. Ashraf and Galor’s statistical results merely “reflect” – literally – Eurasia’s unique advantage in supporting economic development that was mostly based on settled agriculture until about AD1500.

Keywords: Eurasia Advantage, Jared Diamond, genetic diversity, economic development

JEL Classification: O1; O13

Suggested Citation

Tang, Shiping, Eurasia Advantage, Not Genetic Diversity: Against Ashraf and Galor's 'Genetic Diversity' Hypothesis (April 13, 2016). Historical Social Research 41 (2016) 1, 287-327, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2764669

Shiping Tang (Contact Author)

Fudan University - School of International Relations and Public Affairs (SIRPA) ( email )

220 Handan Road
Shanghai, 200433
China

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