Explaining the Great Divergence: Medium and Message on the Eurasian Land Mass, 1700-1850
Between 1700 and 1850, per-capita income doubled in Europe while falling in the rest of Eurasia. Neither geography nor economic institutions can explain this sudden divergence. Here the consequences of differences in communications technology are examined. For the first time, there appeared in Europe a combination of a standardized medium (national vernaculars with a phonetic alphabet) and a non-standardized message (competing religious, political and scientific ideas). The result was an unprecedented fall in the cost of combining ideas and burst of productivity-raising innovation. Elsewhere, decreasing standardization of the medium and increasing standardization of the message blocked innovation.
|Date of creation:||2003|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: CP 6128, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal, Québec, H3C 3J7|
Phone: (514) 343-6540
Fax: (514) 343-5831
Web page: http://www.sceco.umontreal.ca
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Holler, Manfred J. & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1996. "The economics of standardization: Introduction and overview," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 177-182, September.
- Deepak Lal, 2001. "Unintended Consequences: The Impact of Factor Endowments, Culture, and Politics on Long-Run Economic Performance," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262621541, March.
- Martin L. Weitzman, 1998.
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 331-360.
- Weitzman, Martin L., 1998. "Recombinant Growth," Scholarly Articles 3708468, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Martin L. Weitzman, 1995. "Recombinant Growth," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1722, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Dudley, L., 1996.
"The Rationality of Revolution,"
Cahiers de recherche
9619, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
- JEAN-MICHEL Josselin & ALAIN Marciano, 1997. "The Paradox of Leviathan: How to Develop and Contain the Future European State?," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 5-22, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mtl:montde:2003-19. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sharon BREWER)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.