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Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction

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  • Allen, Robert C.

    (Professor of Economic History, University of Oxford)

Abstract

Why are some countries rich and others poor? In 1500, the income differences were small, but they have grown dramatically since Columbus reached America. Since then, the interplay between geography, globalization, technological change, and economic policy has determined the wealth and poverty of nations. The industrial revolution was Britain's path breaking response to the challenge of globalization. Western Europe and North America joined Britain to form a club of rich nations by pursuing four polices-creating a national market by abolishing internal tariffs and investing in transportation, erecting an external tariff to protect their fledgling industries from British competition, banks to stabilize the currency and mobilize domestic savings for investment, and mass education to prepare people for industrial work. Together these countries pioneered new technologies that have made them ever richer. Before the Industrial Revolution, most of the world's manufacturing was done in Asia, but industries from Casablanca to Canton were destroyed by western competition in the nineteenth century, and Asia was transformed into 'underdeveloped countries' specializing in agriculture. The spread of economic development has been slow since modern technology was invented to fit the needs of rich countries and is ill adapted to the economic and geographical conditions of poor countries. A few countries - Japan, Soviet Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, and perhaps China - have, nonetheless, caught up with the West through creative responses to the technological challenge and with Big Push industrialization that has achieved rapid growth through investment coordination. Whether other countries can emulate the success of East Asia is a challenge for the future. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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Bibliographic Info

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This book is provided by Oxford University Press in its series OUP Catalogue with number 9780199596652 and published in 2011.

ISBN: 9780199596652
Order: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199596652.do
Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780199596652

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Cited by:
  1. James Fenske, 2012. "Imachi Nkwu: Trade and the Commons," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2012-19, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Anderson, Kym & Strutt, Anna, 2013. "Emerging Economies, Productivity Growth, and Trade with Resource-Rich Economies by 2030," 2013 Conference (57th), February 5-8, 2013, Sydney, Australia 152134, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  3. Ogilvie, Sheilagh & Carus, A.W., 2014. "Institutions and Economic Growth in Historical Perspective," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 8, pages 403-513 Elsevier.
  4. Anderson, Kym & Strutt, Anna, 2012. "The changing geography of world trade: Projections to 2030," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 303-323.
  5. repec:clg:wpaper:2013-19 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Emanuele Felice & Michelangelo Vasta, 2012. "Passive Modernization? The New Human Development Index and Its Components in Italy’s Regions (1871-2007)," UHE Working papers 2012_10, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.
  7. Manuel Llorca-Jaña, 2012. "The impact of "early" nineteenth-century globalization on foreign trade in the Southern Cone: A study of British trade statistics," Economics Working Papers 1323, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 2012.
  8. repec:clg:wpaper:2012-08 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Robert Allen, 2013. "American Exceptionalism as a Problem in Global History," Economics Series Working Papers 689, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  10. Anderson, Kym & Jha, Shikha & Nelgen, Signe & Strutt, Anna, 2012. "Reexamining Policies for Food Security," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 301, Asian Development Bank.
  11. Robert Allen, 2013. "Poverty Lines in History, Theory, and Current International Practice," Economics Series Working Papers 685, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  12. repec:clg:wpaper:2013-06 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Orley Ashenfelter, 2012. "Comparing Real Wage Rates," Working Papers 1384, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  14. 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.
  15. repec:clg:wpaper:2013-13 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Michi NISHIHARA & Takashi SHIBATA, 2013. "Preemption, leverage, and financing constraints," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 13-05, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  17. Juan Moreno Cruz & M. Scott Taylor, 2012. "Back to the Future of Green Powered Economies," NBER Working Papers 18236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Shingo Ishiguro, 2011. "Relationships and Growth," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 11-31-Rev, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), revised May 2013.

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