The bounty of the sea and long-run development

Carl-Johan Dalgaard, Anne Sofie Beck Knudsen, Pablo Selaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We document that a high level of natural productivity of the ocean - a rich bounty of the sea - has had a positive and persistent impact on economic development since pre-industrial times until today. In addition, we document that it is the bounty of the sea of the ancestors of current populations which drives the persistent effect, not geography per se. We argue that an explanation is that a rich bounty of the sea facilitated early coastal settlements and an early coastal orientation of pre-industrial economic activity. This gave rise to occupations outside of agriculture and capabilities that were complementary to early industrialization. In the long run this contributed to an early take-off to sustained economic growth.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of Economic Growth
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug 17

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Economic History

Keywords

  • Comparative development
  • coastal orientation
  • industrialization
  • O11
  • O13
  • O47
  • O57

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