DP8377 Evolution and the Growth Process: Natural Selection of Entrepreneurial Traits

Author(s): Oded Galor, Stelios Michalopoulos
Publication Date: May 2011
Keyword(s): Evolution, Growth, Natural Selection, Risk Aversion, Technological Progress
JEL(s): J11, J13, O11, O14, O33, O40
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=8377

This research suggests that the evolution of entrepreneurial spirit played a significant role in the process of economic development and the dynamics of inequality within and across societies. The study argues that entrepreneurial spirit evolved non-monotonically in the course of human history. In early stages of development, risk-tolerant, growth promoting traits generated an evolutionary advantage and their increased representation accelerated the pace of technological progress and the process of economic development. In mature stages of development, however, risk-averse traits gained an evolutionary advantage, diminishing the growth potential of advanced economies and contributing to convergence in economic growth across countries.