Sunday, May 20, 2007

Atlas of World Population History

Colin McEvedy and Richard Jones (1978) Atlas of World Population History (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books) provides population estimates since 1AD.

According to Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson (2002), who use this dataset, "They provide estimates based on censuses and published secondary sources. While some individual country numbers have since been revised and others remain contentious (particularly for pre-Columbian Meso-America), their estimates are consistent with more recent research (see, for example, the recent assessment by the Bureau of the Census).

Also used by Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson (2005), Nunn (2008), and Nunn and Puga (2007).

Fenske (2013) notes that problems with this dataset are pointed out by:

  • Austin, G. (2008b). ‘The “reversal of fortune” thesis and the compression of history: perspectives from African and comparative economic history’, Journal of International Development, vol. 20(8), pp. 996–1027.
  • Hopkins, A.G. (2009). ‘The new economic history of Africa’, Journal of African History, vol. 50(02), pp. 155–77.

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