Business Intelligence

The Diffusion Of Development

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Executive Summary

What explains the vast differences in income per capita across countries? This paper provides new empirical evidence shedding light on this question. At the center of the analysis is genetic distance, a measure based on aggregate differences in the distribution of gene variants across populations. It discusses the relationship between genetic distance and differences in income per capita across countries. It's found that measures of genetic distance bear a statistically and economically significant relationship to income differences, and that this relationship is robust to controlling for a large number of measures of geographical distance, climatic differences, transportation costs, and measures of historical, linguistic, and religious distance. The effect of genetic distance holds not only for contemporary income differences, but also for income differences measured since 1500.

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