The Bounty of the Sea and Long-Run Development

71 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2015

See all articles by Carl‐Johan Dalgaard

Carl‐Johan Dalgaard

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

Anne Sofie Beck Knudsen

Lund University - Department of Economic History

Pablo Selaya

University of Copenhagen

Date Written: October 13, 2015

Abstract

What is the long run impact on development from differences in subsistence strategies during pre-industrial times? Whereas this question has been explored from the point of view of agriculture, remarkably little attention has been paid to the complementary strategy of relying on marine resources. As a step towards closing this gap, we construct an index - the Bounty of the Sea index - which captures the potential abundance of exploitable marine fish that individual countries have had access to, and proceed to explore its correlation with economic development. Our analysis reveals that a greater Bounty of the Sea stimulated pre-industrial development, and that countries inhabited by people with ancestry in regions with abundant marine resources are richer today. Probing possible underlying reasons, we find that populations with ancestry in regions rich in marine resources differ from societies with a purely agrarian legacy in terms of institutions, cultural values and average personality traits.

Keywords: subsistence strategy, fishing, economic development, personality, culture, institutions

JEL Classification: O110, O130, O470, O570

Suggested Citation

Dalgaard, Carl-Johan Lars and Knudsen, Anne Sofie Beck and Selaya, Pablo, The Bounty of the Sea and Long-Run Development (October 13, 2015). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5547, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2686498

Carl-Johan Lars Dalgaard (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Bygning 26
1353 Copenhagen K.
Denmark
+45 3532 4407 (Phone)

Anne Sofie Beck Knudsen

Lund University - Department of Economic History ( email )

Lund
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://annesofiebeckknudsen.com

Pablo Selaya

University of Copenhagen ( email )

Department of Economics
Øster Farimagsgade 5
Copenhagen, 1353
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.ku.dk/pabloselaya

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