The Influence of Ancestral Lifeways

Characteristics of our ancestors are often passed down through generations. A certain degree of economic performance and cultural values persist throughout time, but if we are taken out of the physical location of our ancestors, to what extent do these characteristics remain? A recent paper suggests a connection between the extent one's ancestors practiced an agricultural lifestyle and one's economic and education outcomes today. By looking at how ethnic groups made their living in Sub-Saharan Africa generations ago, there is some indication of how their descendants will fare in the future. Stelios Michalopolous of Brown University talks with us on this episode about this fascinating connection and how history can be an overlooked determinant in development.

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