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Economic development in Africa and Europe: reciprocal comparisons

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  • Broadberry, Stephen
  • Gardner, Leigh A.

Abstract

Recent advances in historical national accounting have allowed for global comparisons of GDP per capita across space and time. Critics have argued that GDP per capita fails to capture adequately the multi-dimensional nature of welfare, and have developed alternative measures such as the human development index. Whilst recognising that these wider indicators provide an appropriate way of assessing levels of welfare, we argue that GDP per capita remains a more appropriate measure for assessing development potential, focussing on production possibilities and the sustainability of consumption. Twentieth-century Africa and pre-industrial Europe are used to show how such data can guide reciprocal comparisons to provide insights into the process of development on both continents.

Suggested Citation

  • Broadberry, Stephen & Gardner, Leigh A., 2016. "Economic development in Africa and Europe: reciprocal comparisons," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 65069, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:65069
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    GDP per capita; HDI; Africa; Europe; reciprocal comparison;

    JEL classification:

    • N0 - Economic History - - General
    • N01 - Economic History - - General - - - Development of the Discipline: Historiographical; Sources and Methods
    • N1 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N17 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Africa; Oceania

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