Global Economic History

Global Economic History

A Very Short Introduction

Paperback - 2011
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Why are some countries rich and others poor? In 1500, the income differences were small, but they have grown dramatically since Columbus reached America. Since then, the interplay between geography, globalization, technological change, and economic policy has determined the wealth and povertyof nations. The industrial revolution was Britain's path breaking response to the challenge of globalization. Western Europe and North America joined Britain to form a club of rich nations by pursuing four polices - creating a national market by abolishing internal tariffs and investing intransportation, erecting an external tariff to protect their fledgling industries from British competition, banks to stabilize the currency and mobilize domestic savings for investment, and mass education to prepare people for industrial work. Together these countries pioneered new technologies that have made them ever richer. Before the Industrial Revolution, most of the world's manufacturing was done in Asia, but industries from Casablanca to Canton were destroyed by western competition in the nineteenth century, and Asia wastransformed into "underdeveloped countries" specializing in agriculture. The spread of economic development has been slow since modern technology was invented to fit the needs of rich countries and is ill adapted to the economic and geographical conditions of poor countries. A few countries - Japan,Soviet Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, and perhaps China - have, nonetheless, caught up with the West through creative responses to the technological challenge and with Big Push industrialization that has achieved rapid growth through investment coordination. Whether other countries can emulate thesuccess of East Asia is a challenge for the future.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2011.
ISBN: 9780199596652
Branch Call Number: 330.9
Characteristics: xiv, 170 pages : illustrations ; 18 cm.


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Aug 29, 2014

A highly antiseptic and illusory and PROPER take on history, ignoring all the predatory capitalistic practises, slavery to the max, pirates galore, intellectual property thievery of all kinds, holding other nations in captivity, et cetera, et cetera. Much better to read the British author/scholars, PJ Cain and AB Hopkins and their multi-volume history of Britain as a financial empire. [Best way to scope out American financial history is to familiarize oneself with the first US Treasury agent, B.G. Jayne, and his activities and how he ended up working for Boss Tweed. A great vignette as to how things really were!]

Aug 29, 2014

A fascinating examination of such questions as -- Why did the Industrial Revolution take off in England and why did America prosper, while Peru continues to languish?

Allen avoids the usual hackneyed explanations in this brisk but well-written survey.

Strongly recommended for history buffs and economic laypeople.


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