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Regional Variations Between Phenotypic and Economic Diversity and Their Ecological Predictors in Italy, Spain and Mexico

Heitor B.F. Fernandes, Aurelio José Figueredo, Rafael Antonio Garcia and Pedro Sofío Abril Wolf

Abstract

Previous studies have examined what some of the economic correlates of life history strategies are at the population level, however economic diversity is an unexplored phenomenon in this literature. It is unknown whether diversity in production and economic output is directly fostered by life history speed, or only indirectly through the effect of phenotypic diversification of slow life history populations. Here we provide the conceptual and mathematical definitions for strategic and cognitive differentiation effects as forms of phenotypic diversity in life history and intelligence, as well as the estimation of macroeconomic indices (Krugman Dissimilarity Index, GDP Dissimilarity Index, and Shannon-Weaver Diversity Index) to track population-level macroeconomic diversity in subnational populations of Italy, Spain and Mexico. We examine the structural relations among phenotypic diversity and these three macroeconomic indices, and investigate if there exist residual direct effects of climate, parasite burden, population density, life history strategy, social stratification, and sexual differentiation upon phenotypic and economic diversity measures. Results suggest that economic diversity can be largely explained by phenotypic diversity, which in turn is influenced by both egalitarianism and slow life history speed, giving support to the notion that these are complementary rather than exclusive drivers of diversity.

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