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Ashraf, Quamrul 1976-

Overview
Works: 23 works in 98 publications in 2 languages and 405 library holdings
Genres: History  Cross-cultural studies 
Roles: Creator
Classifications: HC10, 331.62
Publication Timeline
Key
Publications about Quamrul Ashraf
Publications by Quamrul Ashraf
Most widely held works by Quamrul Ashraf
The "out of Africa" hypothesis, human genetic diversity, and comparative economic development by Quamrul Ashraf( Computer File )
18 editions published between 2010 and 2012 in English and German and held by 56 libraries worldwide
This research argues that deep-rooted factors, determined tens of thousands of years ago, had a significant effect on the course of economic development from the dawn of human civilization to the contemporary era. It advances and empirically establishes the hypothesis that, in the course of the exodus of Homo sapiens out of Africa, variation in migratory distance from the cradle of humankind to various settlements across the globe affected genetic diversity and has had a long-lasting effect on the pattern of comparative economic development that is not captured by geographical, institutional, and cultural factors. In particular, the level of genetic diversity within a society is found to have a hump-shaped effect on development outcomes in both the pre-colonial and the modern era, reflecting the trade-off between the beneficial and the detrimental effects of diversity on productivity. While the intermediate level of genetic diversity prevalent among Asian and European populations has been conducive for development, the high degree of diversity among African populations and the low degree of diversity among Native American populations have been a detrimental force in the development of these regions
Dynamics and stagnation in the Malthusian epoch by Quamrul Ashraf( file )
11 editions published between 2008 and 2011 in English and held by 53 libraries worldwide
This paper examines the central hypothesis of the influential Malthusian theory, according to which improvements in the technological environment during the pre-industrial era had generated only temporary gains in income per capita, eventually leading to a larger, but not significantly richer, population. Exploiting exogenous sources of cross-country variations in land productivity and the level of technological advancement the analysis demonstrates that, in accordance with the theory, technological superiority and higher land productivity had significant positive effects on population density but insignificant effects on the standard of living, during the time period 1-1500 CE
Genetic diversity and the origins of cultural fragmentation by Quamrul Ashraf( Computer File )
9 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 40 libraries worldwide
Despite the importance attributed to the effects of diversity on the stability and prosperity of nations, the origins of the uneven distribution of ethnic and cultural fragmentation across countries have been underexplored. Building on the role of deeply-rooted biogeographical forces in comparative development, this research empirically demonstrates that genetic diversity, predominantly determined during the prehistoric "out of Africa" migration of humans, is an underlying cause of various existing manifestations of ethnolinguistic heterogeneity. Further exploration of this uncharted territory may revolutionize the understanding of the effects of deeply-rooted factors on economic development and the composition of human capital across the globe
Cultural diversity, geographical isolation, and the origin of the wealth of nations by Quamrul Ashraf( file )
9 editions published between 2011 and 2012 in English and German and held by 40 libraries worldwide
This research argues that variations in the interplay between cultural assimilation and cultural diffusion have played a significant role in giving rise to differential patterns of economic development across the globe. Societies that were geographically less vulnerable to cultural diffusion benefited from enhanced assimilation, lower cultural diversity, and more intense accumulation of society-specific human capital. Thus, they operated more efficiently with respect to their production-possibility frontiers and flourished in the technological paradigm that characterized the agricultural stage of development. The lack of cultural diffusion and its manifestation in cultural rigidity, however, diminished the ability of these societies to adapt to a new technological paradigm, which delayed their industrialization and, hence, their take-off to a state of sustained economic growth. The theory thus contributes to the understanding of the advent of divergence and overtaking in the process of development. Consistently with the theory, the empirical analysis establishes that (i) geographical isolation prevalent in pre-industrial times (i.e., prior to the advent of airborne transportation technology) has had a persistent negative impact on the extent of contemporary cultural diversity; (ii) pre-industrial geographical isolation had a positive impact on economic development in the agricultural stage but has had a negative impact on income per capita in the course of industrialization; and (iii) cultural diversity, as determined exogenously by pre-industrial geographical isolation, has had a positive impact on economic development in the process of industrialization. -- cultural assimilation ; cultural diffusion ; cultural diversity ; geographical isolation ; economic development ; agriculture ; industrialization
Banks, market organization, and macroeconomic performance an agent-based computational analysis by Quamrul Ashraf( file )
5 editions published in 2011 in English and held by 36 libraries worldwide
This paper is an exploratory analysis of the role that banks play in supporting the mechanism of exchange. It considers a model economy in which exchange activities are facilitated and coordinated by a self-organizing network of entrepreneurial trading firms. Collectively, these firms play the part of the Walrasian auctioneer, matching buyers with sellers and helping the economy to approximate equilibrium prices that no individual is able to calculate. Banks affect macroeconomic performance in this economy because their lending activities facilitate entry of trading firms and also influence their exit decisions. Both entry and exit have conflicting effects on performance, and we resort to computational analysis to understand how they are resolved. Our analysis sheds new light on the conflict between micro-prudential bank regulation and macroeconomic stability. Specifically, it draws an important distinction between "normal" performance of the economy and "worst-case" scenarios, and shows that micro prudence conflicts with macro stability only in bad times. The analysis also shows that banks provide a "financial stabilizer" that in some respects can more than counteract the more familiar financial accelerator
The effect of interventions to reduce fertility on economic growth by Quamrul Ashraf( file )
7 editions published in 2011 in English and held by 34 libraries worldwide
We assess quantitatively the effect of exogenous reductions in fertility on output per capita. Our simulation model allows for effects that run through schooling, the size and age structure of the population, capital accumulation, parental time input into child-rearing, and crowding of fixed natural resources. The model is parameterized using a combination of microeconomic estimates, data on demographics and natural resource income in developing countries, and standard components of quantitative macroeconomic theory. We apply the model to examine the effect of an intervention that immediately reduces TFR by 1.0, using current Nigerian vital rates as a baseline. For a base case set of parameters, we find that an immediate decline in the TFR of 1.0 will raise output per capita by approximately 13.2 percent at a horizon of 20 years, and by 25.4 percent at a horizon of 50 years
When does improving health raise GDP? by Quamrul Ashraf( Computer File )
4 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 32 libraries worldwide
We assess quantitatively the effect of exogenous health improvements on output per capita. Our simulation model allows for a direct effect of health on worker productivity, as well as indirect effects that run through schooling, the size and age-structure of the population, capital accumulation, and crowding of fixed natural resources. The model is parameterized using a combination of microeconomic estimates, data on demographics, disease burdens, and natural resource income in developing countries, and standard components of quantitative macroeconomic theory. We consider both changes in general health, proxied by improvements in life expectancy, and changes in the prevalence of two particular diseases: malaria and tuberculosis. We find that the effects of health improvements on income per capita are substantially lower than those that are often quoted by policy-makers, and may not emerge at all for three decades or more after the initial improvement in health. The results suggest that proponents of efforts to improve health in developing countries should rely on humanitarian rather than economic arguments
How inflation affects macroeconomic performance an agent-based computational investigation by Quamrul Ashraf( Computer File )
6 editions published in 2012 in English and held by 32 libraries worldwide
We use an agent-based computational approach to show how inflation can worsen macroeconomic performance by disrupting the mechanism of exchange in a decentralized market economy. We find that increasing the trend rate of inflation above 3 percent has a substantial deleterious effect, but lowering it below 3 percent has no significant macroeconomic consequences. Our finding remains qualitatively robust to changes in parameter values and to modifications to our model that partly address the Lucas critique. Finally, we contribute a novel explanation for why cross-country regressions may fail to detect a significant negative effect of trend inflation on output even when such an effect exists in reality
Climatic fluctuations and the diffusion of agriculture by Quamrul Ashraf( Computer File )
2 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 28 libraries worldwide
This research examines variations in the diffusion of agriculture across countries and archaeological sites. The theory suggests that a society?s history of climatic shocks shaped the timing of its adoption of farming. Specifically, as long as climatic disturbances did not lead to a collapse of the underlying resource base, the rate at which foragers were climatically propelled to experiment with their habitats determined the accumulation of tacit knowledge complementary to farming. Thus, differences in climatic volatility across hunter-gatherer societies gave rise to the observed spatial variation in the timing of the adoption of agriculture. Consistent with the proposed hypothesis, the empirical investigation demonstrates that, conditional on biogeographic endowments, climatic volatility has a non-monotonic effect on the timing of the adoption of agriculture. Farming diffused earlier across regions characterized by intermediate levels of climatic fluctuations, with those subjected to either too high or too low intertemporal variability transiting later
Cultural assimilation, cultural diffusion and the origin of the wealth of nations by Quamrul Ashraf( Book )
6 editions published in 2007 in English and held by 17 libraries worldwide
Human genetic diversity and comparative economic development by Quamrul Ashraf( Book )
5 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 14 libraries worldwide
Isolation and development by Quamrul Ashraf( Book )
5 editions published in 2009 in English and held by 14 libraries worldwide
This paper exploits cross-country variation in the degree of geographical isolation, prior to the advent of sea-faring and airborne transportation technologies, to examine its impact on the course of economic development across the globe
Malthusian population dynamics : theory and evidence ( file )
1 edition published in 2008 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
The "Out of Africa" hypothesis, human genetic diversity, and comparative economic development by Quamrul Ashraf( Archival Material )
1 edition published in 2010 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
This research argues that deep-rooted factors, determined tens of thousands of years ago, had a signifcant effect on the course of economic development from the dawn of human civilization to the contemporary era. It advances and empirically establishes the hypothesis that, in the course of the exodus of Homo sapiens out of Africa, variation in migratory distance from the cradle of humankind to various settlements across the globe affected genetic diversity and has had a long-lasting effect on the pattern of comparative economic development that is not captured by geographical, institutional, and cultural factors. In particular, the level of genetic diversity within a society is found to have a hump-shaped effect on development outcomes in both the precolonial and the modern era, reflecting the trade-off between the benefcial and the detrimental effects of diversity on productivity. While the intermediate level of genetic diversity prevalent among Asian and European populations has been conducive for development, the high degree of diversity among African populations and the low degree of diversity among Native American populations have been a detrimental force in the development of these regions. Further, the optimal level of diversity has increased in the process of industrialization, as the benefcial forces associated with greater diversity have intensified in an environment characterized by more rapid technological progress
Isolation and development by Quamrul Ashraf( Archival Material )
1 edition published in 2009 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
This paper exploits cross-country variation in the degree of geographical isolation, prior to the advent of sea-faring and airborne transportation technologies, to examine its impact on the course of economic development across the globe. The empirical investigation establishes that prehistoric geographical isolation has generated a persistent beneficial effect on the process of development and contributed to the contemporary variation in the standard of living across countries
Genetic diversity and the origins of cultural fragmentation by Quamrul Ashraf( Archival Material )
1 edition published in 2013 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
Despite the importance attributed to the effects of diversity on the stability and prosperity of nations, the origins of the uneven distribution of ethnic and cultural fragmentation across countries have been underexplored. Building on the role of deeply-rooted biogeographical forces in comparative development, this research empirically demonstrates that genetic diversity, predominantly determined during the prehistoric out of Africa migration of humans, is an underlying cause of various existing manifestations of ethnolinguistic heterogeneity. Further exploration of this uncharted territory may revolutionize the understanding of the effects of deeply-rooted factors on economic development and the composition of human capital across the globe
The effect of interventions to reduce fertility on economic growth by Quamrul Ashraf( Archival Material )
1 edition published in 2011 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
We assess quantitatively the effect of exogenous reductions in fertility on output per capita. Our simulation model allows for effects that run through schooling, the size and age structure of the population, capital accumulation, parental time input into child-rearing, and crowding of fixed natural resources. The model is parameterized using a combination of microeconomic estimates, data on demographics and natural resource income in developing countries, and standard components of quantitative macroeconomic theory. We apply the model to examine the effect of an intervention that immediately reduces TFR by 1.0, using current Nigerian vital rates as a baseline. For a base case set of parameters, we find that an immediate decline in the TFR of 1.0 will raise output per capita by approximately 13.2 percent at a horizon of 20 years, and by 25.4 percent at a horizon of 50 years
Dynamics and stagnation in the Malthusian epoch: Theory and evidence by Quamrul Ashraf( Archival Material )
1 edition published in 2008 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
This paper empirically tests the predictions of the Malthusian theory with respect to both population dynamics and income per capita stagnation in the pre-Industrial Revolution era. The theory suggests that improvements in technology during this period generated only temporary gains in income per capita, eventually leading to a larger but not richer population. Using exogenous cross-country variations in land productivity and the timing of the Neolithic Revolution, the analysis demonstrates that, in accordance with the Malthusian theory, societies that were characterized by higher land productivity and an earlier onset of agriculture had higher population densities, but similar standards of living, during the time period 1-1500 CE
How inflation affects macroeconomic performance: An agent-based computational investigation by Quamrul Ashraf( Archival Material )
1 edition published in 2012 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
We use an agent-based computational approach to show how inflation can worsen macroeconomic performance by disrupting the mechanism of exchange in a decentralized market economy. We find that increasing the trend rate of inflation above 3 percent has a substantial deleterious effect, but lowering it below 3 percent has no significant macroeconomic consequences. Our finding remains qualitatively robust to changes in parameter values and to modifications to our model that partly address the Lucas critique. Finally, we contribute a novel explanation for why cross-country regressions may fail to detect a significant negative effect of trend in ation on output even when such an effect exists in reality
Malthusian population dynamics: Theory and evidence by Quamrul Ashraf( Archival Material )
1 edition published in 2008 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
This paper empirically tests the existence of Malthusian population dynamics in the pre-Industrial Revolution era. The theory suggests that, during the agricultural stage of development, resource surpluses beyond the maintenance of subsistence consumption were channeled primarily into population growth. In particular, societies naturally blessed by higher land productivity would have supported larger populations, given the level of socioeconomic development. Moreover, given land productivity, societies in more advanced stages of development, as reflected by their cumulative experience with the agricultural technological paradigm since the Neolithic Revolution, would have sustained higher population densities. Using exogenous cross-country variations in the natural productivity of land and in the timing of the Neolithic Revolution, the analysis demonstrates that, in accordance with the Malthusian theory, societies that were characterized by higher land productivity and an earlier onset of agriculture had a higher population density in the time period 1-1500 CE
 
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Alternative Names
Ashraf, Quamrul H.
Ashraf, Quamrul H., 1976-
Languages
English (93)
German (2)
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