Historical Social Research

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Shiping Tang: Eurasia Advantage, not Genetic Diversity: Against Ashraf and Galor’s “Genetic Diversity” Hypothesis [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.

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