Economic Conditions in Early Modern Bengal: A Contribution to the Divergence Debate
AbstractThe paper contributes to the debate on relative levels of living in the early modern world by estimating the income of and probable range of income growth in Bengal before European colonization. The exercise yields two conclusions, (a) average income in Bengal was significantly smaller than that in contemporary Western Europe, and (b) there is insufficient basis to infer either growth or decline in average income in the 50 years before colonization and the century after. The former conclusion is relevant to the discussion on the origins of international economic inequality, or ‘divergence’, and the latter is relevant to the scholarship that considers the economic effects of colonialism.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7522.
Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Other versions of this item:
- Roy, Tirthankar, 2010. "Economic Conditions in Early Modern Bengal: A Contribution to the Divergence Debate," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 70(01), pages 179-194, March.
- N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
- N15 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Asia including Middle East
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-11-27 (All new papers)
- NEP-CWA-2009-11-27 (Central & Western Asia)
- NEP-HIS-2009-11-27 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Roy, Tirthankar, 2006. "The Economic History of India 1857-1947," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780195684308.
- Broadberry, Stephen N & Gupta, Bishnupriya, 2005. "The Early Modern Great Divergence: Wages, Prices and Economic Development in Europe and Asia, 1500-1800," CEPR Discussion Papers 4947, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Tirthankar Roy, 2012.
"Consumption Of Cotton Cloth In India, 1795–1940,"
Australian Economic History Review,
Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 52(1), pages 61-84, 03.
- Broadberry, Stephen, 2013.
"Accounting for the great divergence,"
Economic History Working Papers
54573, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
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