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Weather, fertility, and land: land curse in economic development in a unified growth theory

He, Qichun (2011): Weather, fertility, and land: land curse in economic development in a unified growth theory.

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Abstract

We consider fertility choice and weather in analyzing the effect of farmland abundance in economic development. We find that quality-adjusted agricultural land abundance may confer a type of "resource curse", in that it prolongs the tenure of an economy in the Malthusian regime. This lends new insights to Unified Growth Theory (Galor, 2011) by elucidating a particular determinant of the differential timing of the transition from Malthusian stagnation to industrialization. Moreover, opposite to the Matsuyama (1992) model, good weather is found to be a blessing for a small open economy, while it is a curse for a closed economy.

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