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A Comparison of Levels of GDP Per Capita in Developed and Developing Countries, 1700–1980


  • Maddison, Angus


This paper examines the evolution of the per capita income gap between developed and developing countries. Landes and Kuznets suggest that Western countries already had a big lead before their economic growth accelerated, but Bairoch has recently claimed that European living standards in the mid-eighteenth century were lower than in the rest of the world. I think the existing evidence supports the Landes-Kuznets position, and that Bairoch probably overstates the contemporary income gap and understates per capita income growth in the developing world. But there are contradictory elements in the evidence, on which further research is needed.

Suggested Citation

  • Maddison, Angus, 1983. "A Comparison of Levels of GDP Per Capita in Developed and Developing Countries, 1700–1980," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(1), pages 27-41, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:43:y:1983:i:01:p:27-41_02

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    Cited by:

    1. Anja Sautmann, 2011. "Partner Search and Demographics: The Marriage Squeeze in India," Working Papers 2011-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    2. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2000. "International Comparisons of Real Product, 1820-1990: An Alternative Data Set," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 1-41, January.
    3. Heinrich, Torsten & Yang, Jangho & Dai, Shuanping, 2020. "Levels of structural change: An analysis of China's development push 1998-2014," MPRA Paper 100106, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Artz, Georgeanne M. & Orazem, Peter F., 2005. "Reexamining Rural Decline: How Changing Rural Classifications and Short Time Frames Affect Perceived Growth," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19408, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    5. Derek Blades & Bart Van Ark & Harry X. Wu, 2010. "Angus Maddison (1926–2010)," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(3), pages 640-646, September.
    6. Zaytsev, Alexander, 2014. "Душевой Ввп И Производительность Труда В России: Было Ли Догоняющее Развитие? [Russia`s per capita and per hour GDP dynamics: have we seen the cathing-up?]," MPRA Paper 56312, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Issler, João Victor & Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti, 1998. "Time-series properties and empirical evidence of growth and infraestructure: revised version," FGV EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 336, EPGE Brazilian School of Economics and Finance - FGV EPGE (Brazil).
    8. Timothy J. Schmidt, 1994. "The rise of U.S. exports to East Asia and Latin America," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, vol. 79(Q III), pages 67-86.
    9. Yuan, Tangjun & Fukao, Kyoji & Wu, Harry X., 2010. "Comparative output and labor productivity in manufacturing between China, Japan, Korea and the United States for ca. 1935 - A production-side PPP approach," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 325-346, July.
    10. Kyoji Fukao & Harry X. Wu & Tangjun Yuan, 2008. "Comparative Output and Labour Productivity in Manufacturing for China, Japan, Korea and the United States in Circa 1935 by a Production PPP Approach," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd08-018, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    11. Ferrari, Guido, 2018. "Comparisons of GDP Over Time and Across Space: The State of the Art/Comparaciones del PIB a lo largo del tiempo y en el espacio: El estado del arte," Estudios de Economia Aplicada, Estudios de Economia Aplicada, vol. 36, pages 149-166, Enero.
    12. Issler, João Victor & Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti, 1998. "Time-Series Properties and Empirical Evidence of Growth and Infrastructure," Brazilian Review of Econometrics, Sociedade Brasileira de Econometria - SBE, vol. 18(1), May.
    13. Wei, Yi-Ming & Wang, Lu & Liao, Hua & Wang, Ke & Murty, Tad & Yan, Jinyue, 2014. "Responsibility accounting in carbon allocation: A global perspective," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 122-133.

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