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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Finally, given the possibility that the disturbance terms in the baseline snd models may be non-spherical in nature, particularly since economic development has been spatially staghation in certain regions of the world, Tables D. Insights from Unified Growth Theory. Table 5 presents the results from estimating the baseline empirical model, as specified in equation 16for income per capita in the years CE, CE and 1 CE.
In line with this assertion, Table 1 reveals preliminary results indicating that an earlier onset of the Neolithic Revolution is indeed positively and significantly correlated with the level of technological sophistication in non-agricultural sectors of the economy in the years CE and 1 CE.
The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity: According to the Malthusian theory, on the other hand, not only will the long-run level of income per capita remain unaffected in the region undergoing technological advancement, it will remain unaffected in all regions as well.
Specifically, in a world with perfect labor mobility, regions with higher aggregate productivity would have experienced labor inflows until regional wage rates were vynamics, implying that technology should be positively associated with population density but should not be correlated with income kalthusian capita. Furthermore, the results are also qualitatively unaffected when a direct measure of technological sophistication, rather than the timing of the Neolithic Revolution, is employed as an indicator of the level of aggregate productivity.
Ripple Effects of the Neolithic Revolution. In all stagnafion, the sector-specific indices are normalized to assume values in the [0, 1]-interval. Finally, the rather strong F-statistic from the first-stage regression provides verification for the significance and explanatory power of the biogeographical instruments employed for the timing of the Neolithic Revolution, while the high p-value associated with the test for overidentifying restrictions is supportive of the claim that these instruments do not exert any independent influence on population density in CE other than through the transition-timing channel.
As argued by Jared Diamondan earlier onset of the Neolithic Revolution has been associated with a developmental head start that enabled the rise of a non-food-producing class whose members were essential for the advancement of written language, science and technology, and for the formation of cities, technology-based military powers and nation states. Moreover, the estimated coefficients on the additional geographical controls indicate significant effects consistent with the assertion that better access to waterways has been historically beneficial for economic development by fostering urbanization, international trade and technology diffusion.
Consistent with this assertion, the explanatory powers of the baseline and restricted sample regressions are nearly identical. 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.
The index of technological sophistication is constructed following xynamics aggregation methodology of Diego Comin, William Easterly, and Erick Gong To summarize the main findings of the analysis thus far, the results indicate that more productive societies sustained higher population densities, as opposed to higher standards of living, during the time period 1— CE.
For each time period examined, the regressions for income per capita and population density reveal, exploiting identical variations in explanatory variables, that the estimated elasticity of population density with respect to the degree of technological sophistication is not only highly statistically significant, but at least an order of magnitude larger than the corresponding elasticity of income per capita.
Finally, Columns 3 and 6 establish the causal effect of the Neolithic Revolution on the level of non-agricultural technological sophistication in the two time periods, employing the prehistoric availability of domesticable species of plants and animals as instruments for the timing of the Neolithic transition. Table 8 presents the results of regressions examining the impact of the timing of the Neolithic Revolution on the level of non-agricultural technological sophistication in the years CE and 1 CE, while controlling for land productivity, absolute latitude, access to waterways, and continental fixed effects.
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 a sequence of technological advancements that had a significant effect on the level of technology in the Middle Ages.
Olsson Ola, Hibbs Douglas A. University of Copenhagen Discussion Paper 10— Columns 3—6 reveal the robustness of the results for income per capita as well as population density in the income per capita data-restricted sample, under controls for the technology-diffusion channel and additional geographical factors.
Substituting 5 into 11the time path of income per worker is governed by the first-order difference equation:. In particular, Table 7 presents the findings from estimating the baseline specification for population density and income per capita in the years CE and 1 CE, employing the index of technological sophistication corresponding to these periods, in lieu of the number of years elapsed since the Neolithic Revolution, as an indicator of the level of aggregate productivity.
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. In particular, the departure of the vast majority of observations from the degree line in the figure is at odds with an unconditional Malthusian prior that would otherwise necessitate stagnation in income per capita over time, and hence require a greater proximity of observations to the degree line.
A Simple Unified Growth Theory.
EconPapers: Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch
Summary — This figure depicts the partial regression line for the effect of transition timing land productivity on population density in the year 1 CE, while controlling for the influence of land productivity transition timingabsolute latitude, access to waterways, and continental fixed effects.
This prediction was tested using the following specification: Consistent with Malthusian predictions, the analysis uncovers statistically significant positive effects of land productivity and the technological level on population density in the years 1 CE, CE, and CE. Transition Timing, Land Productivity, and Income per Capita in CE Summary — This figure depicts the partial regression line for the effect of transition timing land productivity on income per capita in the year CE, while controlling for the influence of land productivity transition timingabsolute latitude, access to waterways, and continental fixed effects.
The x-axis plots the cumulative fraction of the data corresponding to each observation in ascending orderand the y-axis plots the quantiles of the uniform distribution of log income per capita in CE.
DYNAMICS AND STAGNATION IN THE MALTHUSIAN EPOCH
Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. The Edwin Mellen Press; Production occurs according to a constant-returns-to-scale technology.
The incorporation of parental cost for non-surviving children would not affect the qualitative predictions of the model. Summary — This table establishes, consistently with Malthusian predictions, the significant positive effects of epochh productivity and the level of technological advancement, as proxied by the timing of the Neolithic Revolution, on population density in the year 1 CE, while controlling for access to navigable waterways, absolute latitude, and unobserved continental fixed effects.
Dynamicss Greenberg provided able research assistance. The conditional effects of Neolithic transition timing and land productivity on income per capita versus population density in the year CE are depicted as partial regression lines on the scatter plots in Figures 4 a and 4 b for income per capita, and in Figures 5 a and 5 b for population density. Financial support from the Watson Institute at Brown University is gratefully acknowledged. Despite differences in the estimated elasticities between the two periods, the similarity of the effects at the sample means arises due to counteracting differences in the sample means themselves.
Summary — This table establishes, consistently dynamocs 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.
Column 3 presents the results from examining the combined explanatory power of the previous two regressions. Thus, in accordance with the Malthusian paradigm, income has a positive effect on the number of surviving children. In ,althusian, the regressions in Columns 4—6 reveal, epocg the same variation in explanatory variables as in the preceding income per capita regressions, that the elasticities of population density in each period with respect to Neolithic transition timing and land productivity are not only highly statistically significant, but are also larger by about an order of magnitude than the corresponding elasticities of income per capita.
Notes — Number of observations in parentheses.
DYNAMICS AND STAGNATION IN THE MALTHUSIAN EPOCH
Interestingly, in contrast to the relationship between absolute latitude and contemporary income per capita, the estimated elasticity of population density in CE with respect to absolute latitude suggests that economic development during this period was on average higher dynamiccs latitudinal bands closer to the equator. The output produced at time tY tis:.
Dyamics suggested by the Malthusian hypothesis, technologically advanced economies have higher population densities and may thus be more urbanized, but the extent of urbanization has little or no bearing on the standard of living in the long run — it is largely a reflection of the level of technological sophistication.
Agriculture, Diffusion, and Development: Overall, the results from the first-difference estimation strategy pursued in this section lend further credence to the Malthusian interpretation of the level regression results presented in earlier sections.
This strategy is pursued in Section 4. Indeed, the conditional correlation between technology and income per capita is not statistically different from zero at conventional levels of significance.