Macrohistory Seminar – Raphael Franck (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Event details

  • | Thursday, October 19
  • 12:15 PM
  • Kaiserplatz 7-9, 4th floor, Room 4.006

The Persistent Effect of the Neolithic Revolution on Health and Life Expectancy: A Double-Edged Sword” (with Oded Galor (Brown University) and Omer Ozak (Southern Methodist University)).

This research explores the persistent effects of the Neolithic Revolution on life expectancy. It advances the hypothesis that the Neolithic Revolution has had a non-monotonic effect on life expectancy. In particular, the Neolithic Revolution and the associated increase in infectious diseases triggered a process of natural selection that favored individuals with hyperactive immune systems. This process reduced the mortality from infectious diseases, but increased the probability of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. This trade-off had a positive impact on life expectancy prior to the epidemiological transition, but generated a negative impact on life expectancy after it.


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