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West versus East: Early Globalization and the Great Divergence

  • Rafael, Dobado-González
  • Alfredo, García-Hiernaux
  • David, Guerrero-Burbano

This paper extends our previous work on grain market integration across Europe and the Americas in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (Dobado, García-Hiernaux and Guerrero, 2012). By using the same econometric methodology, we now present: 1) a search for statistical evidence in the East of an “Early Globalization” comparable to the one ongoing in the West by mid eighteenth century; 2) a study on the integration of grain markets in China and Japan and its functioning in comparison to Western countries; 3) a discussion of the relevance of our findings for the debate on the Great Divergence. Our main conclusions are: 1) substantial differences in the degree of integration and the functioning of grain markets are observed between East and West; 2) a certain degree of integration may be reached through different combinations of factors (agents, policies, etc.) and with dissimilar effects on long-run economic growth; 3) the absence of an “Early Globalization” in the East reveals the existence of some economic and institutional limitations in this part of the world and contributed to its “Great Divergence” with the West from at least the eighteenth century.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 48773.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:48773
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  1. Mette Ejrnæs & Karl Gunnar Persson, 1998. "Market Integration and Transport Costs in France 1825-1903: A Threshold Error Correction Approach to the Law of One Price," Discussion Papers 98-19, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  2. Li, Bozhong & Van Zanden, Jan Luiten, 2010. "Before the Great Divergence? Comparing the Yangzi Delta and the Netherlands at the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century," CEPR Discussion Papers 8023, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Daniel M. Bernhofen & John C. Brown, 2005. "An Empirical Assessment of the Comparative Advantage Gains from Trade: Evidence from Japan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 208-225, March.
  4. Keller, Wolfgang & Shiue, Carol Hua, 2004. "Markets in China and Europe on the Eve of the Industrial Revolution," CEPR Discussion Papers 4420, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Keller, Wolfgang & Li, Ben & Shiue, Carol Hua, 2012. "Shanghai’s Trade, China’s Growth: Continuity, Recovery, and Change since the Opium War," CEPR Discussion Papers 8808, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Kevin H. O’Rourke, 2009. "Power and Plenty in 2030," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp298, IIIS.
  7. Flynn, Dennis O. & Gir Ldez, Arturo, 2004. "Path dependence, time lags and the birth of globalisation: A critique of O'Rourke and Williamson," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(01), pages 81-108, April.
  8. Dobado-González, Rafael & García-Hiernaux, Alfredo & Guerrero, David E., 2012. "The Integration of Grain Markets in the Eighteenth Century: Early Rise of Globalization in the West," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(03), pages 671-707, September.
  9. Jan De Vries, 2010. "The limits of globalization in the early modern world," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 63(3), pages 710-733, 08.
  10. O Rourke, Kevin H, 2006. "The worldwide economic impact of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, 1793 1815," Journal of Global History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 123-149, March.
  11. Péter Földvári & Bas van Leeuwen, 2011. "What can price volatility tell us about market efficiency? Conditional heteroscedasticity in historical commodity price series," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 5(2), pages 165-186, June.
  12. Maddison, Angus, 2007. "Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD: Essays in Macro-Economic History," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199227204, March.
  13. David S. Landes, 2006. "Why Europe and the West? Why Not China?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 3-22, Spring.
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