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国民财富的演化起源

来源于 《比较》 2022年第3期 出版日期 2022年06月01日
文|卡姆鲁尔·阿什拉夫 奥戴德·盖勒 马克·克莱姆普

4.结论

  过去20年来兴起了一个颇具影响力的研究领域,着力于探索不同宗教、国家和民族的经济发展差异的演化起源。此类研究分析了演化进程对停滞转向增长的意义,人类遗传特性的构成对不同社会经济发展差异的影响,尤其强调演化选择在新石器革命以来的作用,以及现代智人在史前走出非洲的迁徙历程如何影响世界各地的人群在遗传特性构成上的差异。

  探究人类演化与经济发展进程之间的相互作用,主要围绕两条思路。第一条思路是,在新石器革命之后的时代,马尔萨斯生存压力不仅是人口规模的主要决定因素,很可能还通过自然选择力量改变了人口的构成。遗传特性与经济环境相匹配的个人能获得更高水平的收入,因此留下更多数量的后裔。于是,能够促进增长的遗传特性在群体中的代表比例逐渐增加,推动了发展进程乃至现代增长的出现,使得演化进程更激烈的社会更快实现从停滞向增长的转型,并造成了各个社会的相对发展差异。

  第二条研究思路的假说是,全球各民族的祖居地与东非人类摇篮之间的迁徙距离越长,人际多样性水平就越低,由此对发展成就产生了持续的驼峰状影响,反映了多样性对社会生产率水平的有利效应与有害效应的基本权衡。多样性可以削弱人际信任与社会凝聚力,从而不利于社会生产率,同时又能促进创新思想的相互激发,增加专业化的收益,提升社会生产率。考虑到多样性与同质性对生产率的边际效应在递减,相比过度同质化或过度异质化的社会,多样性水平适中的民族、国家与地区有望取得更高的经济发展成就。

  (余江译)

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