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Divided We Stand, United We Fall: The Hume-North-Jones Mechanism For The Rise Of Europe

  • Cem Karayalçin

The "great divergence" between Europe and the rest of the world occurred relatively recently. What enabled Europe, with all its laggards, to dominate the previously successful Eastern economies? This article emphasizes one important mechanism, highlighting the contrast between the European states system and Eastern empires. Political competition for a mobile tax base in a states system forces rulers to provide relatively more secure property rights. By effectively limiting the "exit" options of the ruled, an empire rewards its ruler with a captive tax base that can be subjected to higher levels of expropriation. As a result, the states system encourages faster capital accumulation and growth. Copyright � 2008 the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 49 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (08)
Pages: 973-997

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:49:y:2008:i:3:p:973-997
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  1. Findlay, Ronald, 1992. "The Roots of Divergence: Western Economic History in Comparative Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 158-61, May.
  2. Oded_Galor & Andrew Mountford, 2006. "Trade and the Great Divergence: The Family Connection," Working Papers 2006-01, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  3. Theo S Eicher & Stephen Turnovsky, 1998. "Scale, Congestion, and Growth," Working Papers 0071, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  4. Galor, Oded, 2004. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 4581, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
  6. Azam Chaudhry & Phillip Garner, 2006. "Political Competition Between Countries and Economic Growth," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 666-682, November.
  7. Stanley L. Engerman & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2005. "Colonialism, Inequality, and Long-Run Paths of Development," NBER Working Papers 11057, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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