Seminar GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne "Celestial Enlightenment..."

Seminar GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne "Celestial Enlightenment..."

Seminar GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne "Celestial Enlightenment..."
▶️Thursday, June 16, 10h45-12h00
▶️Speaker : Eric Roca Fernandez @eric_roca_fdz
▶️Title : Celestial Enlightenment : Eclipses, curiosity and economic...

Seminar GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne "Celestial Enlightenment..."

▶️Thursday, June 16, 10h45-12h00
▶️Speaker : Eric Roca Fernandez @eric_roca_fdz
▶️Title : Celestial Enlightenment : Eclipses, curiosity and economic development among pre-modern ethnic groups


▶️Abstract : 
🔹This paper revisits the role of human capital for economic growth among pre-modern ethnic groups. 
🔹We hypothesise that exposure to rare natural events drives curiosity and prompts thinking in an attempt to comprehend and explain the phenomenon, thus raising human capital and, ultimately, pre-modern growth. 
🔹We focus on solar eclipses as one particular trigger of curiosity and empirically establish a robust relationship between their number and several proxies for economic prosperity : social complexity, technological level and population density. 
🔹Variation in solar eclipse exposure is exogenous as their local incidence is randomly and sparsely distributed all over the globe. 
🔹Additionally, eclipses’ non-destructive character makes them outperform other uncanny natural events, such as volcano eruptions or earthquakes, which have direct negative economic effects. 
🔹We also offer evidence compatible with the human capital increase we postulate, finding a more intricate thinking process in ethnic groups more exposed to solar eclipses. 
🔹In particular, we study the development of written language, the playing of strategy games and the accuracy of the folkloric reasoning for eclipses.

More information :
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