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Around the European Periphery 1870-1913: Globalization, Schooling and Growth

  • Kevin H. O'Rourke
  • Jeffrey G. Williamson

On average, the poor European periphery converged on the rich industrial core in the four or five decades prior to World War I. Some, like the three Scandinavian economies, used industrialization to achieve a spectacular convergence on the leaders, especially in real wages and living standards. Some, like Ireland, seemed to do it without industrialization. Some, like Italy, underwent less spectacular catch-up, and it was limited to the industrializing North. Some, like Iberia, actually fell back. What accounts for this variety? What role did trade and tariff policy play? What about emigration and capital flows? What about schooling? We offer a tentative assessment of these contending explanations and conclude that globalization was by far the dominant force accounting for convergence (and divergence) around the periphery. Some exploited it well, and some badly.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5392.

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Date of creation: Dec 1995
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Publication status: published as European Review of Economic History, Vol. 1, no. 2 (August 1997): 153-190.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5392
Note: DAE
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  1. repec:hhs:iuiwop:430 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1992. "The Evolution of Global Labor Markets Since 1830 Background Evidence and Hypotheses," NBER Historical Working Papers 0036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1996. "Globalization, Convergence, and History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(02), pages 277-306, June.
  5. Fenoaltea, Stefano, 1988. "International resource flows and construction movements in the atlantic economy: the kuznets cycle in Italy, 1861–1913," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(03), pages 605-637, September.
  6. Luis A. Rivera-Batiz & Paul M. Romer, 1990. "Economic Integration and Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 3528, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Irwin, Douglas A., 1993. "Free Trade and Protection in Nineteenth-Century Britain and France Revisited: A Comment on Nye," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 53(01), pages 146-152, March.
  9. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 92-96, May.
  10. Kevin O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1995. "Open Economy Forces and Late 19th Century Scandinavian Catch-Up," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1709, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  11. Nancy L. Stokey, 1991. "Human Capital, Product Quality, and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 587-616.
  12. Nye, John Vincent, 1991. "The Myth of Free-Trade Britain and Fortress France: Tariffs and Trade in the Nineteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(01), pages 23-46, March.
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