The authors attribute acceleration in this evolutionary process to the emergence of the nuclear family that fostered intergenerational links. Prior to the agricultural revolution, 10,000 years ago, people lived among hunter-gatherer tribes that tended to share resources more equally.
"During this hunter-gatherer period, the absence of direct intergenerational links between parental resources and investment in their offspring delayed the evolutionary advantage of a preference for high-quality children," said the authors.
In fact, according to the theory, a switch back to a quantity emphasis began to take place in the 20th century.
"During the transition from stagnation to growth, once the economic environment improved sufficiently, the evolutionary pressure weakened and the significance of quality for survival declined," said Galor. The inherent advantage in reproduction of people who highly value a large number of children gradually dominated and their fertility rates ultimately overtook the fertility rates of people who value high-quality children, he said.
"Oded Galor's tendency to ask big, important questions, to be tackled in ambitious and technically sophisticated models have earned him a well-deserved reputation as one of the most ingenious and interesting growth-theorists of our age," said Joel Mokyr, professor of economics and history, Northwestern University. Mokyr is a leading expert on the history of technological progress and the Industrial Revolution.
"Galor and Moav have opened a new and potentially very fruitful vein of thinking about the history of economies in the very long run," said Mokyr. "This pioneering paper is
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