Arbatlı, C. E., Ashraf, Q. H., Galor, O., & Klemp, M. (2020). Diversity and Conflict. Econometrica, 88(2), 727-797.

This research advances the hypothesis and establishes empirically that interpersonal population diversity, rather than fractionalization or polarization across ethnic groups, has been pivotal to the emergence, prevalence, recurrence, and severity of intrasocietal conflicts. Exploiting an exogenous source of variations in population diversity across nations and ethnic groups, as determined predominantly during the exodus of humans from Africa tens of thousands of years ago, the study demonstrates that population diversity, and its impact on the degree of diversity within ethnic groups, has contributed significantly to the risk and intensity of historical and contemporary civil conflicts. The findings arguably reflect the contribution of population diversity to the non‐cohesiveness of society, as reflected partly in the prevalence of mistrust, the divergence in preferences for public goods and redistributive policies, and the degree of fractionalization and polarization across ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups.


Franck, R., & Galor, O. (2020). Flowers of Evil? Industrialization and Long Run Development. Journal of Monetary Economics.

The origin of the uneven distribution of ethnic and cultural fragmentation across countries has been underexplored, despite the importance attributed to the effects of diversity on the stability and prosperity of nations. Building on the role of deeply-rooted biogeographical forces in comparative development, this research empirically demonstrates that genetic diversity, predominantly determined during the prehistoric "out of Africa" migration of humans, is an underlying cause of various existing manifestations of ethnolinguistic heterogeneity. Further research may revolutionize our understanding of how economic development and the composition of human capital across the globe are affected by these deeply-rooted factors.


Zeeconomics:  Is Industrialization Conducive to Economic Development? 


Ashraf, Q. H., & Galor, O. (2018). The Macrogenoeconomics of Comparative Development. Journal of Economic Literature, 56(3), 1119-55.

The importance of evolutionary forces for comparative economic performance across societies has been the focus of a vibrant literature, highlighting the roles played by the Neolithic Revolution as well as the prehistoric "out of Africa" migration of anatomically modern humans in generating worldwide variations in the composition of human traits. This essay provides an overview of the literature on the macrogenoeconomics of comparative development, underscoring the significance of evolutionary processes and human population diversity in generating differential paths of economic development across societies.


Galor, O., Özak, Ö., & Sarid, A. (2020). Linguistic Traits and Human Capital Formation. AEA Papers and Proceedings 110,  309-13.

This research establishes the influence of linguistic traits on human behavior. Exploiting variations in the languages spoken by children of migrants with identical ancestral countries of origin, the analysis indicates that the presence of periphrastic future tense and its association with long-term orientation has a significant positive impact on educational attainment, whereas the presence of sex-based grammatical gender, and its association with gender bias, has a significant adverse impact on female educational attainment.


Casey, G., Shayegh, S., Moreno-Cruz, J., Bunzl, M., Galor, O., & Caldeira, K. (2019). The impact of climate change on fertility. Environmental Research Letters, 14(5), 054007.

We examine the potential for climate change to impact fertility via adaptations in human behavior. We start by discussing a wide range of economic channels through which climate change might impact fertility, including sectoral reallocation, the gender wage gap, longevity, and child mortality. Then, we build a quantitative model that combines standard economic-demographic theory with existing estimates of the economic consequences of climate change. In the model, increases in global temperature affect agricultural and non-agricultural sectors differently. Near the equator, where many poor countries are located, climate change has a larger negative effect on agriculture. The resulting scarcity in agricultural goods acts as a force towards higher agricultural prices and wages, leading to a labor reallocation into this sector. Since agriculture makes less use of skilled labor, climate damage decreases the return to acquiring skills, inducing parents to invest less resources in the education of each child and to increase fertility. These patterns are reversed at higher latitudes, suggesting that climate change may exacerbate inequities by reducing fertility and increasing education in richer northern countries, while increasing fertility and reducing education in poorer tropical countries.


Galor, O., & Klemp, M. (2019). Human Genealogy Reveals a Selective Advantage to Moderate Fecundity. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 3(5), 853-857.

Life-history theory suggests that the level of fecundity of each organism reflects the effect of the trade-off between the quantity and quality of offspring on its long-run reproductive success. The present research provides evidence that moderate fecundity was conducive to long-run reproductive success in humans. Using a reconstructed genealogy for nearly half a million individuals in Quebec during the 1608–1800 period, the study establishes that, while high fecundity was associated with a larger number of children, perhaps paradoxically, moderate fecundity maximized the number of descendants after several generations. Moreover, the analysis further suggests that evolutionary forces decreased the level of fecundity in the population over this period, consistent with an additional finding that the level of fecundity that maximized long-run reproductive success was below the population mean. The research identifies several mechanisms that contributed to the importance of moderate fecundity for long-run reproductive success. It suggests that, while individuals with lower fecundity had fewer children, the observed hump-shaped effect of fecundity on long-run reproductive success reflects the beneficial effects of lower fecundity on various measures of child quality, such as marriageability and literacy, and thus on the reproductive success of each child.



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