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The West and the Rest in the World Economy: 1000–2030

  • Angus Maddison

This paper analyses the forces determining per capita income levels of nations over the past millennium and the prospects to 2030. In the year 1000 AD, Asian countries were in the lead. By 1820, per capita GDP in Western Europe and the US was twice the Asian average. The divergence had grown much bigger by 1950, but by the 1970s, several Asian countries – Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore – had achieved considerable catch up. Since then, there has been a major surge in China and the beginning of a similar phenomenon in India. As a result, the Asian share of world income has risen steadily and, by 2030, will be fairly close to what it was in 1820. Maddison concludes by comparing his analysis with the Malthusian interpretation of Oded Galor.

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Article provided by World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE in its journal World Economics Journal.

Volume (Year): 9 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 75-100

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Handle: RePEc:wej:wldecn:355
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  1. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2001. "Evolution and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 718-729, May.
  2. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Natural Selection and the Origin of economic Growth," Working Papers 2000-18, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  3. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2004. "From Physical to Human Capital Accumulation: Inequality and the Process of Development," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 1001-1026.
  4. Galor, Oded, 2004. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 4581, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Brian Snowdon, 2008. "Towards a Unified Theory of Economic Growth," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 9(2), pages 97-151, April.
  6. 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.
  7. Maddison, Angus, 2007. "Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD: Essays in Macro-Economic History," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199227204.
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