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The Timing of Industrialization across Countries

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  • Jeanet Sinding Bentzen

    (Department of Economics, Copenhagen University)

  • Nicolai Kaarsen

    (Department of Economics, Copenhagen University)

  • Asger Moll Wingender

    (Department of Economics, Copenhagen University)

Abstract

We develop a measure of the timing of industrialization, comparable across 149 countries. Defining the year of industrial transition as the year in which employment in industry exceeded that in agriculture, we identify 67 countries that industrialized between 1801 and 2005 and 82 countries that had not yet industrialized by 2005. We crossvalidate the data using anecdotal evidence from historians and by showing that, in a subset of countries, industrial production per capita surges around the year of industrialization. We then use the measure to investigate existing theories of industrialization. First, we find that an early transition is associated with higher income today. Second, the industrial transition is closely linked with the fertility transition. Third, early- and late-industrializers have rather similar levels of income, human capital, and structural composition. Fourth, late-comers differ from early-industrializers in terms of being more open to trade, having larger service shares, industrializing faster, experiencing higher growth rates of GDP per capita and schooling, and last by being more heterogenous along several dimensions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 13-17.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 18 Nov 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:1317

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  1. Margarida Duarte & Diego Restuccia, 2006. "The Role of the Structural Transformation in Aggregate Productivity," 2006 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 415, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Vollrath, Dietrich, 2008. "The Dual Economy in Long-run Development," MPRA Paper 12293, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  5. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1989. "Industrialization and the Big Push," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1003-26, October.
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  8. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2011. "Trade and Poverty: When the Third World Fell Behind," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262015158, December.
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  10. Michaels, Guy & Rauch, Ferdinand & Redding, Stephen J, 2008. "Urbanization and Structural Transformation," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 7016, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. William Easterly & Stanley Fischer, 1994. "The Soviet Economic Decline: Historical and Republican Data," NBER Working Papers 4735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal Of Fortune: Geography And Institutions In The Making Of The Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294, November.
  13. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2001. "The U.S. Structural Transformation and Regional Convergence: A Reinterpretation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 584-616, June.
  14. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2004. "Life Earnings and Rural-Urban Migration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages S29-S59, February.
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