Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Out of Africa Hypothesis of Comparative Development Reflected by Nighttime Light Intensity

Ashraf, Quamrul and Galor, Oded and Klemp, Marc (2014): The Out of Africa Hypothesis of Comparative Development Reflected by Nighttime Light Intensity.

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Abstract

This research establishes that migratory distance from the cradle of anatomically modern humans in East Africa and its effect on the distribution of genetic diversity across countries has a hump-shaped effect on nighttime light intensity per capita as observed by satellites, reflecting the trade-off between the beneficial and the detrimental effects of diversity on productivity. The finding lends further credence to the hypothesis that a significant portion of the variation in the standard of living across the globe can be attributed to factors that were determined in the distant past.

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