How much does the past matter?

A lot, according to Comin, Easterly, and Gong:

We assemble a dataset on technology adoption in 1000 B.C., 0 A.D., and
1500 A.D. for the predecessors to today’s nation states.  We find that
this very old history of technology adoption is surprisingly
significant for today’s national development outcomes.  Although our
strongest results are for 1500 A.D., we find that even technology as
old as 1000 BC matters in some plausible specifications.

Here is the NBER version, here is a free version.


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