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Technology in the Great Divergence

In: Globalization in Historical Perspective

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  • Gregory Clark
  • Robert C. Feenstra

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the changes in per-capita income and productivity from 1700 to modern times, and show four things: (1) that incomes per capita diverged more around the world after 1800 than before; (2) that the source of this divergence was increasing differences in the efficiency of economies; (3) that these differences in efficiency were not due to problems of poor countries in getting access to the new technologies of the Industrial Revolution; (4) that the pattern of trade from the late nineteenth century between the poor and the rich economies suggests that the problem of the poor economies was peculiarly a problem of employing labor effectively. This continues to be true today.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Michael D. Bordo & Alan M. Taylor & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2003. "Globalization in Historical Perspective," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bord03-1, July.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 9591.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:9591

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    1. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, . "Equipment Investment and Economic Growth," J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers _122, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
    2. Brecher, Richard A & Choudhri, Ehsan U, 1982. "The Leontief Paradox, Continued," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(4), pages 820-23, August.
    3. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "International Factor Price Differences: Leontief Was Right!," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 961-87, December.
    4. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2001. "Tropical Underdevelopment," NBER Working Papers 8119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "The Case of the Missing Trade and Other Mysteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1029-46, December.
    6. Clark, Gregory, 1987. "Why Isn't the Whole World Developed? Lessons from the Cotton Mills," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(01), pages 141-173, March.
    7. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," NBER Working Papers 8460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
    9. Paolo Mauro & Yishay Yafeh & Nathan Sussman, 2001. "Emerging Market Spreads: Then Versus Now," OFRC Working Papers Series 2001fe03, Oxford Financial Research Centre.
    10. Jones, Charles I., 1994. "Economic growth and the relative price of capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 359-382, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Mendonça, Sandro, 2013. "The “sailing ship effect”: Reassessing history as a source of insight on technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(10), pages 1724-1738.
    2. Oded Galor & Andrew Mountford, 2008. "Trading Population for Productivity: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 2008-2, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    3. Justin Yifu Lin, 2007. "Development and Transition : Idea, Strategy, and Viability," Development Economics Working Papers 22709, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    4. Mehmet Fatih Ekinci & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Bent Sorensen, 2007. "Financial Integration within EU Countries: The Role of Institutions, Confidence and Trust," NBER Working Papers 13440, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Schlicht, Ekkehart, . "Der Bruch der Theorie in der Praxis durch Not," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    6. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Ariell Reshef & Bent E Sørensen & Oved Yosha, 2010. "Why Does Capital Flow to Rich States?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 769-783, November.
    7. Alan M. Taylor, 2004. "Commentary : demographic changes and international factor mobility," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 421-435.
    8. Carolina Castaldi & Giovanni Dosi, 2008. "Technical Change and Economic Growth: Some Lessons from Secular Patterns and Some Conjectures on the Current Impact of ICT Technology," LEM Papers Series 2008/01, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    9. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Bent E. Sorensen & Belgi Turan, 2007. "Where does Capital Flow? A Comparison of U.S. States and EU Countries 1950-2000," European Economy - Economic Papers 295, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    10. Meissner, Christopher M., 2014. "Growth from Globalization? A View from the Very Long Run," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 8, pages 1033-1069 Elsevier.

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