Reading List

From Stagnation to Growth:

The evolution of economies from the dawn of human civilization to the modern era

The Malthusian Epoch: Theory and Empirics

Population and Growth: Theories of the Demographic Transition

Unified Growth Theory: Theory and Quantitative Evaluation

Comparative Economic Development

Overview of the Literature






Colonial Origins & Reversal of Fortune

Legal Origins

Human Capital

Isolation, Globalization & Market Access



The Neolithic Revolution



  • Ashraf Quamrul and Oded Galor "Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch", American Economic Review (2011), 101(5), pp. 2003-2041
  • Stelios Michalopoulos, Louis Putterman and David Weil, 2016 "The Influence of Ancestral Working Lifeways on Individual Economic Outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa", NBER w21907
  • Putterman, Louis. 2008. "Agriculture, Diffusion, and Development: Ripple Effects of the Neolithic Revolution." Economica, 75(300): 729-748
  • Franck, R., Galor O., and Ö. Özak "The Neolithic and Life Expectancy: A Double-Edged Sword"

State Formation and State Capacity

  • **Acemoglu Daron, Simon Johnson and Jim Robinson (2001): "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, 91(5),
  • **Acemoglu Daron, Simon Johnson and Jim Robinson (2002): "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 107(4), 1231—1294.
  • Alesina, Alberto and Enrico Spolaore, "On the Number and Size of Nations", Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 90(5), pages 1276-1296, November 1997
  • *Besley, Timothy and Thorsten Persson "State Capacity, Conflict and Development", Econometrica, Volume 78, Issue 1, pages 1–34, January 2010
  • Mayshar Yoram, Omer Moav and Zvika Neeman, Luigi Pascali, 2013. "Cereals Apropriability, and Hierarchy," CEPR No. 10742
  • Fleck, Robert and Andrew Hansen "The Origins of Democracy: A Model with Application Ancient Greece", Journal of Law and Economics vol. XLIX, 115-146, 2006.
  • Lowes S, Nunn N, Robinson JA, Weigel J. The Evolution of Culture and Institutions: Evidence from the Kuba Kingdom. 2015, Working Paper.
  • Tilly, Charles. 1985. "War Making and State Making as Organized Crime," in Bringing the State Back eds. Peter Evans, Dietrich Rueschemeyer, and Theda Skocpol. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Campante, Filipe R., and Quoc-Anh Do. 2014. "Isolated Capital Cities, Accountability, and Corruption: Evidence from US States." American Economic Review, 104(8): 2456-81.
  • ** Michalopoulos Stelios and Elias Papaioannou, (2014) "National Institutions and Subnational Development in Africa", Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2014, 129 (1): 151-213

Health, Life-Expectancy and Development

Other Topics (Presentations)

Intergenerational Transmission of Culture & Mobility

Religion, Culture and Political Economy

Conflict & Borders

Cultural Evolution Models


Handbooks & Surveys