Oded Galor (Brown University) spoke on March 21, 2022 (4.00 pm to 5.30 pm CET Berlin time) in a public world-wide online event on
The Journey of Humanity:
The Origins of Wealth and Inequality
The event was jointly organized by Global Labor Organization (GLO), the Journal of Population Economics (JOPE) and POP @ UNU-MERIT and chaired by Klaus F. Zimmermann (President of GLO, Editor-in-Chief of JOPE, and Co-Director of POP). About 200 people had registered to attend.
Oded Galor spoke about his new book just published with Penguin Random House in thirty languages worldwide. It is released on March 22 in the USA and on April 7 in the UK and on April 13 in Germany.
Further details on the book (see also below) and how it can be purchased: USA-LINK —– UK-LINK …… Germany-LINK
He is Herbert H. Goldberger Professor of Economics at Brown University and the founding thinker behind Unified Growth Theory, which seeks to uncover the fundamental causes of development, prosperity and inequality over the entire span of human history. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Economic Growth and an Editor of the Journal of Population Economics.
About the book
In a captivating journey from the dawn of human existence to the present, world-renowned economist and thinker Oded Galor offers an intriguing solution to two of humanity’s great mysteries.
Why are humans the only species to have escaped – only very recently – the subsistence trap, allowing us to enjoy a standard of living that vastly exceeds all others? And why have we progressed so unequally around the world, resulting in the great disparities between nations that exist today? Immense in scope and packed with astounding connections, Galor’s gripping narrative explains how technology, population size, and adaptation led to a stunning “phase change” in the human story a mere two hundred years ago. But by tracing that same journey back in time and peeling away the layers of influence – colonialism, political institutions, societal structure, culture – he arrives also at an explanation of inequality’s ultimate causes: those ancestral populations that enjoyed fruitful geographical characteristics and rich diversity were set on the path to prosperity, while those that lacked it were disadvantaged in ways still echoed today.
As we face ecological crisis across the globe, The Journey of Humanity is a book of urgent truths and enduring relevance, with lessons that are both hopeful and profound: gender equality, investment in education, and balancing diversity with social cohesion are the keys not only to our species’ thriving, but to its survival.
From the event
From the opening remarks of Klaus F. Zimmermann
Oded is the Herbert Goldberger Professor of Economics at Brown University and one of the profoundest economic thinkers of the world. He has published his research in the best academic outlets of the profession. His contributions focus for long around the fundamental causes of development, prosperity and inequality over the entire span of human history. As the driving force behind what he calls “Unified Growth Theory” and the role of genetic diversity for development he seeks to uncover the fundamental causes of the path of human wellbeing across time and space.
Oded Galor was awarded Doctorates Honoris Causa from UCLouvain and from Poznań University of Economics & Business. He is an elected Foreign Member of Academia Europaea and an Elected Fellow of the Econometric Society. He is affiliated with many distinguished academic networks like NBER, CEPR, GLO, IZA, among others. Furthermore, he is the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Economic Growth, Editor of the Journal of Population Economics, and Co-Editor of Macroeconomic Dynamics. He has served the profession in many unique ways.
His new book “The Journey of Humanity: The Origins of Wealth and Inequality” comes at the time of a dramatic setback in economic history, as for a few weeks now the aggressive war against the Ukraine reveals. Europe experiences some of the darkest days on the continent since WWII with unpredictable ending.
The book could not foresee this development. But it nevertheless feeds the hope for a long-term rise in humanity, of increased wealth, understanding and collaboration.
- As Oded Galor writes at the beginning of his global review of history (p. 9): “…. the outlook derived from this exploration can be described as fundamentally hopeful, in terms of the overarching trajectory of societies across the globe. …. education, tolerance and greater gender equality hold the keys to our species’ flourishing in the decades and centuries to come. ”
- And after discussing major global catastrophes over the last century, he writes towards the end (p. 242f): “But history shows that, shattering and dreadful as they are, these events have had limited long-term impact on the grand arc of human development. The relentless march of humanity has so far been unstoppable.”
The book helps us to see the mechanisms and common institutions we need to invest and struggle for to foster human development and to overpower disaster.