Gifts of Mars: Warfare and Europe's Early Rise to Riches
AbstractToday, per capita income differences around the globe are large – varying by as much as a factor of 35 across countries (Hall and Jones 1999). These differentials mostly reflect the "Great Divergence" (Sam Huntingon) – the fact that Western Europe and former European colonies grew rapidly after 1800, while other countries grew much later or stagnated. What is less well-known is that a "First Divergence" preceded the Great Divergence: Western Europe surged ahead of the rest of the world long before technological growth became rapid. Europe in 1500 was already twice as rich on a per capita basis as Africa, and one-third richer than most of Asia (Maddison 2007). In this essay, we explain how Europe's tumultuous politics and deadly penchant for warfare translated into a sustained advantage in per capita incomes.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 719.
Date of creation: Sep 2013
Date of revision:
fertility; great divergence; demographic regime; long-run growth;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E27 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
- N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
- N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
- O14 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
- O41 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
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