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Are genetic traits associated with riots? The political legacy of prehistorically determined genetic diversity

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posted on 2022-09-12, 10:56 authored by Trung V VuTrung V Vu

This paper establishes that the worldwide distribution of political instability has its deep historical roots in genetic diversity, predetermined over the prehistoric course of the exodus of Homo sapiens from East Africa tens of thousands of years ago. It proposes that the relationship between prehistorically determined genetic diversity and contemporary political instability follows a U-shaped pattern. More specifically, genetic diversity at first reduces the persistence of political instability by increasing the opportunity cost of engaging in riots and revolts. However, genetically fragmented societies tend to suffer from interpersonal mistrust and the under-provision of public goods, which plausibly undermine the establishment of politically stable regimes. Using an ancestry-adjusted index of predicted genetic diversity, this paper consistently finds precise estimates that genetic diversity imparts a U-shaped influence on different measures of political instability and the probability of observing the occurrence of riots and revolts across 141 countries. Furthermore, the contribution of genetic diversity to political instability is at least partially mediated through income/productivity levels, the provision of public goods, income inequality and social trust.

Funding

University of Otago

History

School

  • Business and Economics

Department

  • Economics

Published in

Kyklos

Volume

74

Issue

4

Pages

567 - 595

Publisher

Wiley

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Publisher statement

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Vu, T.V. (2021) Are genetic traits associated with riots? The political legacy of prehistorically determined genetic diversity. Kyklos, 74( 4), 567– 595, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/kykl.12276. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.

Acceptance date

2021-05-13

Publication date

2021-06-23

Copyright date

2021

ISSN

0023-5962

eISSN

1467-6435

Language

  • en

Depositor

Dr Trung Vu. Deposit date: 12 September 2022

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