A Review of Gregory Clark's A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World
AbstractA Farewell to Alms advances striking claims about the economic history of the world. These include (1) the preindustrial world was in a Malthusian preventive check equilibrium, (2) living standards were unchanging and above subsistence for the last 100,000 years, (3) bad institutions were not the cause of economic backwardness, (4) successful economic growth was due to the spread of "middle class" values from the elite to the rest of society for "biological" reasons, (5) workers were the big gainers in the British Industrial Revolution, and (6) the absence of middle class values, for biological reasons, explains why most of the world is poor. The empirical support for these claims is examined, and all are questionable.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Literature.
Volume (Year): 46 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- N00 - Economic History - - General - - - General
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"The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1209-2004,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1307-1340, December.
- Gregory Clark, 2005. "The Condition of the Working-Class in England, 1209-2004," Working Papers 539, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
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"Was Malthus Right? A Var Analysis Of Economic And Demographic Interactions In Pre-Industrial England,"
Working Papers in Economic History
wh060601, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones.
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- Wolcott, Susan & Clark, Gregory, 1999. "Why Nations Fail: Managerial Decisions and Performance in Indian Cotton Textiles, 1890–1938," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(02), pages 397-423, June.
- Robert Allen & Robert C. Allen, 2007. "Pessimism Preserved: Real Wages in the British Industrial Revolution," Economics Series Working Papers 314, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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- Robert Allen & Robert C. Allen, 2007. "Engel`s Pause: A Pessimist`s Guide to the British Industrial Revolution," Economics Series Working Papers 315, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Hanson, John R., 1988. "Why Isn't the Whole World Developed? A Traditional View," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(03), pages 668-672, September.
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- Clark, Gregory, 2010. "The Consumer Revolution: Turning Point in Human History, or Statistical Artifact?," MPRA Paper 25467, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Gregory Clark & Joe Cummins & Brock Smith, 2010.
"The Surprising Wealth of Pre-industrial England,"
1014, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
- Seven Agir, 2011. "The Evolution of Grain Policy Beyond Europe: Ottoman Grain Administration in the Late Eighteenth Century," Working Papers 999, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
- Clark, Gregory, 2013.
"1381 and the Malthus delusion,"
Explorations in Economic History,
Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 4-15.
- Chiarini, Bruno, 2010. "Was Malthus right? The relationship between population and real wages in Italian history, 1320 to 1870," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 460-475, October.
- Nicholas Crafts, 2010. "Cliometrics and technological change: a survey," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(5), pages 1127-1147.
- Charles J. Cook, . "The Role of Lactose Tolerance in Pre-Colonial Development," Departmental Working Papers 2011-12, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
- Ken Tabata, 2013. "The Expansion of the Commercial Sector and the Child Quantity-Quality Transition in a Malthusian World," Discussion Paper Series 105, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised May 2013.
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