Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Diffusion of Development: Along Genetic or Geographic Lines?

Campbell, Douglas L. and Pyun, Ju Hyun (2014): The Diffusion of Development: Along Genetic or Geographic Lines?

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Abstract

Why are some peoples still poor? Recent research suggests that a society’s “genetic distance”—a measure of the time elapsed since two populations had common ancestry—to the United States is a significant predictor of development even after controlling for an ostensibly exhaustive list of geographic, historical, religious and linguistic variables. We find, by contrast, that the correlation of genetic distance from the US and GDP per capita disappears with the addition of controls for geography including distance from the equator and a dummy for sub-Saharan Africa.

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