Empirical Economics

, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 1145–1165 | Cite as

Technology in 1500 and genetic diversity

  • Tiago Neves SequeiraEmail author
  • Marcelo Santos


The study of the deeply rooted determinants of development, technology and innovation is a very recent strand of the literature. This paper investigates the relationship between technology in 1500 and the ancestral genetic diversity of populations. It shows a strong hump-shaped relationship between genetic diversity and technological developments in 1500. This means that some of the technological achievements may stem from the genetic diversity mostly determined more than a millennium before. Results are robust to the introduction of several controls and to IV estimation. Moreover, our results highlight that agriculture and communication were the technologies most influenced by genetic diversity.


Technology Genetic diversity Historical determinants of development Historical determinants of technological development 

JEL Classification

I25 N10 N30 O10 O50 Z10 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Gestão e Economia and CEFAGE-UBIUniversidade da Beira InteriorCovilhãPortugal

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