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Technology in the Great Divergence

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  • Gregory Clark
  • Robert 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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8596.

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Date of creation: Nov 2001
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Publication status: published as Technology in the Great Divergence , Gregory Clark, Robert C. Feenstra. in Globalization in Historical Perspective , Bordo, Taylor, and Williamson. 2003
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8596

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  1. 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, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  2. Jones, Charles I., 1994. "Economic growth and the relative price of capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 359-382, December.
  3. 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.
  4. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "International Factor Price Differences: Leontief Was Right!," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 961-87, December.
  5. Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "The Case of the Missing Trade and Other Mysteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1029-46, December.
  6. De Long, J Bradford & Summers, Lawrence H, 1991. "Equipment Investment and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 445-502, May.
  7. Paolo Mauro & Nathan Sussman & Yishay Yafeh, 2002. "Emerging Market Spreads: Then Versus Now," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 695-733, May.
  8. Clark, Gregory, 1987. "Why Isn't the Whole World Developed? Lessons from the Cotton Mills," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(01), pages 141-173, March.
  9. Brecher, Richard A & Choudhri, Ehsan U, 1982. "The Leontief Paradox, Continued," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(4), pages 820-23, August.
  10. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2001. "Tropical Underdevelopment," NBER Working Papers 8119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Galor, Oded & Mountford, Andrew, 2008. "Trading Population for Productivity: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 6678, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Mehmet Fatih Ekinci & Şebnem Kalemli-Özcan & Bent E. Sørensen, 2009. "Financial Integration within EU Countries: The Role of Institutions, Confidence and Trust," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2007, pages 325-391 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Reshef, Ariell & Sorensen, Bent E & Yosha, Oved, 2006. "Why Does Capital Flow to Rich States?," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5635, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Schlicht, Ekkehart, 2005. "Der Bruch der Theorie in der Praxis durch Not," Discussion Papers in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 568, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Meissner, Christopher M., 2014. "Growth from Globalization? A View from the Very Long Run," Handbook of Economic Growth, Elsevier, in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 8, pages 1033-1069 Elsevier.
  6. Mendonça, Sandro, 2013. "The “sailing ship effect”: Reassessing history as a source of insight on technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 42(10), pages 1724-1738.
  7. 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, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission 295, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  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, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy 2008/01, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  9. Justin Yifu Lin, 2007. "Development and Transition : Idea, Strategy, and Viability," Development Economics Working Papers 22709, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  10. Alan M. Taylor, 2004. "Commentary : demographic changes and international factor mobility," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 421-435.

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