Guzmán, Ricardo Andrés and Weisdorf, Jacob (2009): The Neolithic Revolution from a price-theoretic perspective.
Download (152kB) | Preview
The adoption of agriculture during the Neolithic triggered the first demographic explosion in history. When fertility returned to its original level, early farmers found themselves more poorly nourished than hunter-gatherers and working longer hours to make ends meet. We develop a dynamic, price-theoretic model that rationalizes these events: in the short-run, fertility and utility increase; in the long-run, consumption, leisure, and utility fall below their initial levels. This, we argue, can be attributed to the rise in child labor productivity that followed the adoption of agriculture. Counter-intuitively, an increase in the productivity of children may lead to a permanent reduction in utility.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||The Neolithic Revolution from a price-theoretic perspective|
|Keywords:||Neolithic Revolution; hunter-gatherers; child labor; Thomas Malthus|
|Subjects:||Z - Other Special Topics > Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology
N - Economic History > N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy > N30 - General, International, or Comparative
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J1 - Demographic Economics
|Depositing User:||Ricardo Andrés Guzmán|
|Date Deposited:||24. Apr 2009 00:25|
|Last Modified:||15. Feb 2013 12:52|
Angel, J. L. 1975. `Paleoecology, paleodemography and health', in (S. Polgar, ed.), Population, Ecology and Social Evolution, pp. 167-90, The Hague, Netherlands: Mouton.
Armelagos, G. J., Goodman, A. H. and Jacobs, K. H. (1991). `The origins of agriculture: population growth during a period of declining health', Population and Environment, vol. 13, pp. 9--22.
Ashraf, Q., and Galor, O. (2008). `Dynamics and stagnation in the Malthusian epoch: theory and evidence', Brown University, mimeo.
Binford, L. R. (1968). `Post-Pleistocene Adaptation', in (S. R. Binford and L. R. Binford, eds.), New Perspectives in Archaeology, pp. 313--41, Chicago, IL: Aldine.
Bocquet-Appel, J. P. (2002). `Paleoanthropological traces of a Neolithic demographic transition', Current Anthropology, vol. 43, pp. 637--50.
Boldrin, M. and Jones, L. E. (2002). `Mortality, fertility, and saving in a Malthusian economy', Review of Economic Dynamics, vol. 5, pp. 775--814.
Cashdan, E. A. (1985). `Natural fertility, birth spacing, and the first demographic transition', American Anthropologist, vol. 87, pp. 650--53.
Cohen, M. N. and Armelagos, G. J. (1984). `Paleopathology at the origins of agriculture', in (M. N. Cohen and G. J. Armelagos, eds.), Paleopathology at the Origins of Agriculture, pp. 585--602, Orlando, FL: Academic Press.
Douglas, M. (1966). `Population control in primitive groups', The British Journal of Sociology, vol. 17, pp. 263--73.
Dow, G. K., Reed, C. G. and Olewiler, N. (2009). `Climate reversals and the transition to agriculture', Journal of Economic Growth, vol. 14, pp. 27--56.
Eckstein, Z., Stern, S. and Wolpin, K. we. (1988). `Fertility choice, land, and the Malthusian hypothesis', International Economic Review, vol. 29, pp. 353--61.
Flannery, K. V. (1969). `Origins and ecological effects of early domestication in Iran and the Near East', in (P. J. Ucko and G. W. Dimbleby, eds.) The Domestication and Exploitation of Plants and Animals, pp. 73--100, Chicago, IL: Aldine.
Galor, O., Weil, D. N. (2000). `Population, technology, and growth: from Malthusian stagnation to the demographic transition and beyond', American Economic Review, vol. 90, pp. 806--28.
Harlan, J. R. (1992). Crops and Man, Maddison, WI: American Society of Agronomy.
Hassan, F. H. (1973). `On Mechanisms of Population Growth during the Neolithic', Current Anthropology, vol. 14, pp. 535--40.
Johnson, A. W. and Earle, T. K. (2000). The Evolution of Human Societies: From Foraging Group to Agrarian State, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Kramer, K. L. and Boone, J. L. (2002). `Why intensive agriculturalists have higher fertility: a household energy budget approach', Current Anthropology, vol. 43, pp. 511--17.
Lagerlöf, N. P. (2003). `From Malthus to modern growth: can epidemics explain the three regimes?', International Economic Review, vol. 44, pp. 755--77.
Lagerlöf, N. P. (2003). `Gender equality and long-run growth', Journal of Economic Growth, vol. 8, pp. 403--26.
Lagerlöf, N. P. (2005). `Sex, equality, and growth', The Canadian Journal of Economics / Revue Canadienne d'Economique, vol. 38, pp. 807--31.
Locay, L. (1983). Aboriginal Population Density of North American Indians, Department of Economics, University of Chicago, PhD dissertation.
Locay, L. (1989). `From hunting and gathering to agriculture', Economic Development and Cultural Change, vol. 37, pp. 737--56.
Marceau, N. and Myers, G. (2006). `On the early Holocene: foraging to early agriculture', The Economic Journal, vol. 116, pp. 751--72.
Nerlove, M., Razin, A. and Sadka, E. (1986). `Endogenous population with public goods and Malthusian fixed resources: efficiency or market failure', International Economic Review, vol. 27, pp. 601--9.
Price, T. D. and Gebauer, A. (1995). `New perspectives on the transition to agriculture', in (T. D. Price and A. Gebauer, eds.), Last Hunters, First Farmers: New Perspectives on the Prehistoric Transition to Agriculture, pp. 132--39, Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press.
Razin, A. and Ben-Zion, U. (1975). `An intergenerational model of population growth', American Economic Review, vol. 65, pp. 923--33.
Robson, A. J. (2008). `A bioeconomic view of the Neolithic transition', Simon Fraser University, mimeo.
Rowthorn, R. E. and Seabright, P. (2008). `Warfare and the multiple adoption of agriculture after the last ice age', University of Cambridge, mimeo.
Sackett, R. D. F. (1996). Time, Energy, and the Indolent Savage: A Quantitative Cross-Cultural Test of the Primitive Affluence Hypothesis, Department of Anthropology, UCLA, PhD dissertation.
Sahlins, M. (1974). Stone Age Economics, Chicago, IL: Aldine.
Sharp, P. and Weisdorf, J. (2009). `From foraging to farming: new light on the most ancient history', University of Copenhagen, mimeo.
Smith, V. L. (1975). `The primitive hunter culture, Pleistocene extinction, and the rise of agriculture', Journal of Political Economy, vol. 83, pp. 727--55.
Trigger, B. G. (1989). A History of Archaeological Thought, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Weisdorf, J. L. (2003). `Stone Age economics: the origins of agriculture and the emergence of non-food specialists', University of Copenhagen Discussion Paper 03-34.
Weisdorf, J. L. (2005). `From foraging to farming: explaining the Neolithic Revolution', Journal of Economic Surveys, vol. 116, pp. 561--86.
Weisdorf, J. L. (2008). `Why did the first farmers toil?', European Review of Economic History, forthcoming.
Zhang, J., and Zhang, J. (1997). `Fertility and Wage Rates in an Overlapping-Generations Model', The Canadian Journal of Economics / Revue Canadienne d'Economique, vol. 30, pp. 224--234.
Zhang, J., and Zhang, J. (2005). `The effect of life expectancy on fertility, saving, schooling and economic Growth: theory and evidence', Scandinavian Journal of Economics, vol. 107, pp. 45--66.
Available Versions of this Item
The Neolithic Revolution from a price-theoretic perspective. (deposited 17. Aug 2008 12:44)
- The Neolithic Revolution from a price-theoretic perspective. (deposited 24. Apr 2009 00:25) [Currently Displayed]