In today’s Nature, Peter Richerson and Robert Boyd argue that migration is an engine of social change because the movement of people into societies that offer a better way of life is a more powerful driver of cultural evolution than conflict and conquest (pay-access only, sorry!):

As cultural evolutionists interested in how societies change over the long term, we have thought a lot about migration, but only recently tumbled to an obvious idea: migration has a profound effect on how societies evolve culturally because it is selective. People move to societies that provide a more attractive way of life and, all other things being equal, this process spreads ideas and institutions that promote economic efficiency, social order and equality.

One Response to Migration: An engine for social change

  1. Claire says:

    I’ve heard something very similar from a number of economists … but damn if I can find the relevant papers at present…

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.