Technology in 1500 and Genetic Diversity

Sequeira, T., M. Santos (forthcoming), "Technology in 1500 and Genetic Diversity", Empirical Economics.

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.