Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch by Quamrul Ashraf and Oded Galor. Published in volume , issue 5, pages of American Economic. This paper empirically tests the predictions of the Malthusian theory with respect to both population dynamics and income per capita stagnation. This paper examines the central hypothesis of the influential Malthusian theory, according to which improvements in the technological environment during the.
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Specifically, while variations in land productivity and other geographical characteristics are inarguably exogenous to the cross-country variation in population density, the onset of the Neolithic Revolution and the outcome variable of interest may in fact be endogenously determined.
Dyamicssuggests that the worldwide stagnation in income per capita during the pre-industrial epoch reflected the counterbalancing effect of population growth on the expansion of resources, in an environment characterized by the positive effect of the standard of living on population growth along with diminishing labor productivity.
Exploiting exogenous sources of cross-country variations in land productivity and the level of technological advancement, the analysis demonstrates that, in accordance with the theory, technological superiority and higher land productivity had significant positive effects on population density but insignificant effects on the standard of living, during the time period Fynamics.
Hansen and Edward C. The current investigation therefore performs a rigorous robustness analysis of the baseline results with respect to the aforementioned data quality concerns.
Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch
First, it establishes that the onset of the Neolithic Revolution, which marked the transition of societies from hunting and gathering to agriculture as early as 10, years ago, triggered matlhusian sequence of technological advancements that had a significant effect on the level of technology in the Middle Ages. Atlas of Cultural Evolution. Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth. Search for items with the same title.
Explaining the Neolithic Revolution. Thus, for instance, while statistical significance remains unaffected across specifications, the independent effects of Neolithic transition timing and land productivity from the first two columns in each table increase slightly in magnitude when both channels are examined concurrently in Column 3, and remain stable tthe when subjected to the additional geographical controls in the baseline regression specification of the fourth column.
In addition, the strength and credibility of the numbers of domesticable plant and animal species as instruments continue to be supported by their explanatory power in the first-stage regressions and by the results of the overidentifying restrictions tests.
Blackwell Publishers Ltd; Finally, the partial regression lines associated with the period-specific indices of technology in the baseline regressions for population density in CE and 1 CE are depicted in Figures D. Here is how to contribute.
DYNAMICS AND STAGNATION IN THE MALTHUSIAN EPOCH. – Dimensions
In the industrial sector, the index is assigned a value of 0 under the absence of both metalworks and pottery, a value of 1 under the presence of only pottery, and a value of 2 under the presence of both. Summary — This table presents the causal effect of direct measures of technological sophistication in the years CE and 1 CE, as determined by exogenous factors governing the timing of the Neolithic Revolution, on population density in the same time periods, while controlling for land productivity, access to navigable waterways, absolute latitude, and unobserved continental fixed effects.
Land Productivity This measure is composed of 1 the percentage of arable land, as reported by the World Development Indicatorsand 2 an index of the suitability of land for agriculture, based on geospatial soil pH and temperature data, as reported by Navin Ramankutty et al.
The interested reader is therefore referred to McEvedy and Jones for more details on the original data sources cited therein. In contrast, the effects of land productivity and technology on income per capita in these periods are not significantly different from zero. Not surprisingly, as observed with earlier IV regressions, the causal impact of the Neolithic transition is, in each case, larger relative to its impact obtained under the OLS estimator, a pattern that is consistent with measurement error in the transition-timing variable and the resultant attenuation bias afflicting OLS coefficient estimates.
Moreover, the stability of the results over the 1— CE time horizon further alleviates this potential concern. Summary — This table establishes, consistently with Malthusian predictions, the significant positive effects of land productivity and the level of technological advancement, as proxied by the timing of the Neolithic Revolution, on population density in the year CE, while controlling for access to navigable waterways, absolute latitude, and unobserved continental fixed effects.
The staggnation similarity of the results across periods also suggests that the empirical findings are indeed stagnatoon plausibly stagnatipn with the Malthusian theory as opposed to being consistently generated by spurious correlations between population density and the explanatory variables of interest across the different historical periods.
These findings are entirely consistent with the Malthusian prediction that in pre-industrial economies, resources temporarily generated by more productive technological environments were ultimately channeled into population growth, with negligible long-run effects on income per capita. Summary nad This table demonstrates that the relatively small effect of the level of technological advancement on income per sstagnation in the years CE and 1 CE, but its significantly larger effect on population density in the same time periods, remains qualitatively robust when direct measures of technological sophistication for the corresponding years are used in lieu of the timing of the Neolithic Stagnatioh.
Brown University Working Paper —7. This section examines the Malthusian prediction regarding the neutrality of the standard of living with respect to land productivity and the level of technological advancement, as proxied by the timing of the Neolithic Revolution.
In the communications sector, the index is assigned a value of 0 under the absence of both true writing and mnemonic or non-written records, a value of 1 under the presence of only mnemonic or non-written records, and a value of 2 under the presence of both.
National Center for Biotechnology InformationU. The x- and y-axes plot income per capita in dynamicz years CE and CE respectively. Summary — This table demonstrates that the relatively small effects of land productivity and the level of technological advancement, as proxied by the timing of the Neolithic Revolution, on income per capita in the year CE, but their significantly larger effects on population density in the same time period, remain robust under additional controls for technology dyna,ics and climatic stagnatiom.
This strategy is pursued in Section 4. The technology index for a given culture is thus the unweighted average across sectors of the sector-specific indices for that culture. This section demonstrates the significant positive effects of land productivity and the level of technological advancement, as proxied by the timing of the Neolithic Revolution, on population density in the years CE and 1 CE.
Consistent with Malthusian predictions, the regressions indicate highly statistically significant positive relationships between technological sophistication and population density in the two time malthuusian. Review of Economic Studies.
DYNAMICS AND STAGNATION IN THE MALTHUSIAN EPOCH
The degree line in the figure therefore corresponds to a uniform distribution, wherein each observation would possess a unique value for income per capita. Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch: Technologically superior economies ultimately had denser populations but their standard of living did not reflect their technological advancement.
The level of income per capita, as reported by Angus Maddisonfor a given year. Column 1 of Table 10 reveals the qualitative robustness of the full-sample regression results for population dynamjcs in the year CE under controls for distance to the closest regional frontier as well as small island and landlocked dummies.
Finally, the study establishes that the results are not driven by unobserved time-invariant country fixed effects.
Thus, the x- and y-axes plot the residuals obtained from regressing transition timing land productivity and population density, respectively, on the aforementioned set of covariates. Thus, while proximity to the equator has been found to be detrimental in the industrial stage of development, it appears to have been beneficial during the agricultural stage.
The effect of the land-productivity channel, controlling for absolute latitude and continental fixed effects, is reported in Column 2. The R-squared of the regression indicates that, along with continental fixed effects and absolute latitude, the land-productivity channel explains ij percent of the cross-country variation in log population density in CE.
EconPapers: Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch
This is a reassuring indicator that the variance-covariance characteristics of the regression samples employed for the different periods are not fundamentally different from one another, despite differences in sample size due to the greater unavailability of population density data in the earlier historical periods. In particular, log land productivity is the first principal component of the logs of these variables, capturing 83 percent of their combined variation.
Specifically, the relationship reported by Putterman disappears i. Non-agricultural Technology Index in BCE, 1 CE, and CE The index of non-agricultural technology for a given year is based on the same underlying data and aggregation methodology discussed above for the overall technology index. Open in a separate window.
However, unlike the overall index, the non-agricultural counterpart incorporates data on the sector-specific technology indices for only the communications, industrial i.
Accordingly, the emergence and subsequent diffusion of agricultural practices were primarily driven by geographical conditions such as climate, continental size and orientation, as well as the availability of wild plant and animal species amenable to domestication.
To the extent that the gains satgnation trade and technology diffusion are manifested primarily in terms of population size, as the Malthusian theory would predict, distance to the frontier has a highly statistically significant maltbusian impact on population density.
The regressions in Table 7 therefore omit the timing of the Neolithic Revolution as an explanatory variable for both population density and income xtagnation capita in the two periods examined.