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Many hands make hard work, or why agriculture is not a puzzle

Guzmán, Ricardo Andrés (2007): Many hands make hard work, or why agriculture is not a puzzle.

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Abstract

The adoption of agriculture, some 10,000 years ago, triggered the first demographic explosion in human history. When fertility fell back to its original level, early farmers found themselves worse fed than the previous hunter-gatherers, and worked longer hours to make ends meet. I develop a price-theoretical model with endogenous fertility that rationalizes these events. The results are driven by the reduction in the cost of children that followed the adoption of agriculture.

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