Roots of Autocracy

105 Pages Posted: 11 May 2017

See all articles by Oded Galor

Oded Galor

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

Marc Klemp

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 10, 2017


Exploiting a novel geo-referenced data set of population diversity across ethnic groups, this research advances the hypothesis and empirically establishes that variation in population diversity across human societies, as determined in the course of the exodus of human from Africa tens of thousands of years ago, contributed to the differential formation of pre-colonial autocratic institutions within ethnic groups and the emergence of autocratic institutions across countries. Diversity has amplified the importance of institutions in mitigating the adverse effects of non-cohesiveness on productivity, while contributing to the scope for domination, leading to the formation of institutions of the autocratic type.

Keywords: autocracy, economic growth, diversity, institutions, out-of-Africa hypothesis of comparative development

JEL Classification: O100, O430, Z100

Suggested Citation

Galor, Oded and Klemp, Marc, Roots of Autocracy (April 10, 2017). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6427. Available at SSRN:

Oded Galor (Contact Author)

Brown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Providence, RI 02912
United States


Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

United Kingdom


Marc Klemp

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Bygning 26
1353 Copenhagen K.

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