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Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg Working Papers in Economics

No 26:
Biogeography and Long-Run Economic Development

Ola Olsson () and Douglas A. Hibbs Jr.

Abstract: The transition from a hunter-gather economy to agricultural production, which made possible the endogenous technological progress that ultimately led to the industrial revolution, is one of the most important events in the thousands of years of humankind’s economic development. In this paper we present theory and evidence showing that exogenous geography and initial condition biogeography exerted decisive influence on the location and timing of transitions to sedentary agriculture, to complex social organization and, eventually, to modern industrial production. Evidence from a large cross-section of countries indicates that the effects of geographic and biogeographic endowments on contemporary levels of economic development are remarkably strong.

Keywords: Geography biogeography and growth; Economic development; Agricultural revolution; Institutions and growth; Plants animals and growth; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: N10; N50; O10; O41; (follow links to similar papers)

44 pages, June 19, 2000, Revised August 11, 2000

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This paper is published as:
Olsson, Ola and Douglas A. Hibbs Jr., (2005), 'Biogeography and Long-Run Economic Development', European Economic Review, Vol. 49, pages 909-938



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