In last year’s Caplan-Jones immigration debate, Garett heavily appealed to research on ancestry and growth.  The gist:

Countries now inhabited by the descendants of historically advanced
civilizations do much better than countries now inhabited by descendants
of historically backwards civilizations.  How do they measure
“advanced” and “backward”?  Several ways, especially state history (S),
dawn of agriculture (A), and technology in 1500 AD (T).

Since this research is interesting, important, and neglected, I’m starting off the new year with a reading club on the topic.  I propose the following articles and due dates:

Reading #1 (Wednesday, January 27): Putterman, Louis, and David Weil. 2010. “Post-1500 Population Flows and the Long-Run Determinants of Economic Growth and Inequality.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 125(4): 1627-1682.

Reading #2 (Wednesday, February 3): Comin, Diego, William Easterly, and Erick Gong. 2010. “Was the Wealth of Nations Determined in 1000 BC?American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics 2(3): 63-97.

Reading #3 (Wednesday, February 10): Spolaore, Enrico, and Romain Wacziarg. 2013. “How Deep Are the Roots of Economic Development?Journal of Economic Literature 51(2): 325-369.

Reading #4 (Wednesday, February 17): Chanda, Areendam, C. Cook, and Louis Putterman. 2014. “Persistence of Fortune: Accounting for Population Movements, There Was No Post-Columbian Reversal.” American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics 6(3): 1-28.

As in earlier book clubs, I’ll open each discussion with a post summarizing, then analyzing, the reading.  Readers can join the conversation in the comments.  I’ll also invite the authors to participate, either in the comments or as guest posts.  I’ll close the book club with an “Ask Me Anything” post.

Who’s in?