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Mixed Fortunes: An Economic History of China, Russia, and the West


  • Popov, Vladimir

    (Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations; New Economic School, Moscow)


The rise of the West is often attributed the presence of certain features in Western countries from the 16th century that were absent in more traditional societies: the abolition of serfdom and Protestant ethics, the protection of property rights, and free universities. The problem with this reasoning is that, before the 16th century, there were many countries with social structures that possessed these same features that didn't experience rapid productivity growth. This book offers a new interpretation of the 'Great Divergence' and 'Great Convergence' stories. It explores how Western countries grew rich and why parts of the developing world (South and East Asia and the Middle East) did not catch up with the West from 1500 to 1950 but began to narrow the gap after 1950. It also examines why others (Latin America, South Africa, and Russia) were more successful at catching up from 1500 to 1950, but then experienced a slowdown in economic growth compared to other developing countries. Mixed Fortunes offers a novel interpretation of the rise of the West and of the subsequent development of 'the rest' and China and Russia, important examples of two groups of developing countries, are examined in greater detail.

Suggested Citation

  • Popov, Vladimir, 2014. "Mixed Fortunes: An Economic History of China, Russia, and the West," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198703631, Decembrie.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780198703631

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    Cited by:

    1. Popov, Vladimir, 2018. "Why Some Countries Have More Billionaires Than Others? (Explaining Variations in Billionaire Intensity of GDP)," MPRA Paper 87119, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Jomo, K. & Popov, V., 2016. "Long-Term Trends in Income Distribution," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 146-160.
    3. Popov, Vladimir, 2014. "Socialism is dead, long live socialism!," MPRA Paper 54294, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Popov, Vladimir, 2019. "Billionaires, millionaires, inequality, and happiness," MPRA Paper 94081, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Andre Nassif & Carmem Aparecida Feijo & Eliane Araújo, 2016. "Structural change, catching up and falling behind in the BRICS: A comparative analysis based on trade pattern and Thirlwall’s Law," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 69(279), pages 373-421.
    6. Popov, Vladimir, 2015. "Разрыв Между Югом И Западом По Уровню Экономического Развития Сокращается? [Catching up: Developing countries in pursuit of growth]," MPRA Paper 65893, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Popov, Vladimir, 2016. "Is Globalization Coming to an End Due to Rise of Income Inequalities?," MPRA Paper 73094, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Dimitrios Zikos & Ulrich Wurzel, 2023. "Bringing Economic and Political Power Back In: A Call for Re-Politicising Development Research," Economies, MDPI, vol. 11(3), pages 1-23, March.
    9. Popov, Vladimir, 2024. "Сколько Прав Нужно Человеку: Взлет И Падение Либерализма [How many rights does a human need: The rise and fall of liberalism]," MPRA Paper 120479, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Popov, Vladimir, 2020. "The mystery of growth mechanism in a centrally planned economy: Planning process and economics of shortages," MPRA Paper 101300, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Stanislav Holubec & Béla Tomka, 2023. "Human Development Index: Changes in East Central Europe, 1913-2010," Politická ekonomie, Prague University of Economics and Business, vol. 2023(2), pages 130-152.
    12. Popov, Vladimir, 2021. "Why Europe looks so much like China: Big government and low income inequalities," MPRA Paper 106326, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Popov, Vladimir, 2023. "Why the rich and the poor value freedom and equality differently," MPRA Paper 116563, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Popov, Vladimir, 2015. "Catching Up: Developing Countries in Pursuit of Growth," MPRA Paper 65878, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Olena Baklanova & Mariana Petrova & Viktor Koval, 2020. "Institutional Transmission in Economic Development," Economic Studies journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 1, pages 68-91.
    16. Popov, Vladimir & Konchakov, Roman & Didenko, Dmitry, 2023. "Factors of social tension in the provinces of the Russian Empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries," MPRA Paper 118464, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Popov, Vladimir & Konchakov, Roman & Didenko, Dmitry, 2024. "Human capital in the regions of the Russian Empire and inequality in land distribution at the turn of the 20th century," MPRA Paper 119796, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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