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Why Australia Prospered: The Shifting Sources of Economic Growth (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) Hardcover – November 11, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: The Princeton Economic History of the Western World
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (November 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691154678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691154671
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #953,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"[T]he first major economic history of Australia for 40 years . . ."--Ross Gittins, Sydney Morning Herald

"[R]emarkable. . . . Why Australia Prospered distills decades of research and teaching to present an account of Australia and its development that is solid, surprising and pertinent to the contemporary debate about the country's future. . . . In his assembly of evidence and his judicious review of the debates of Australian development, McLean has made a profoundly important contribution to our understanding of where Australia has come from as a nation, where they country is now--and where it is going."--Australian Financial Review

"In Why Australia Prospered, Ian McLean explores the fascinating mix of factors explaining this persistence of prosperity. . . . [A] carefully researched book . . ."--Times Higher Education Supplement

"McLean provides a comprehensive account of the factors contributing to Australia's remarkable economic growth."--Choice

"In this impressive book McLean demonstrates the contribution economic history can make to scholarship on the past and the politics of the present. . . . [T]he work of a manifestly fine scholar with many important points to make and ideas that need to be heard far beyond university economics departments, or what's left of them."--Stephen Matchett, Australian

"[A]n outstanding piece of scholarship. . . . Ian McLean has written a timely and masterful account of the long sweep of Australia's economic history, which will be relished by anyone interested in the unique circumstances of this country's remarkable economic development. Written for the non-specialist, the narrative is accessible, brisk and appropriately, if sparsely, illustrated with charts and tables."--Ian Harper, EH.Net

"[T]his is a superb book. Anyone with even a superficial interest in Australian economic history should read it, and be educated by it."--Tim Hatton, Australian Economic History Review

"McLean has an admirable ability to sum up complex issues using simple, often elegant sentences. He is a highly skilled tradesperson who uses economists' tools, but this does not compromise the readability of his text. Why Australia Prospered deserves a wide audience. It would be a suitable text for undergraduate use, while giving postgraduate students and established scholars plenty to think about."--Lionel Frost, Australian Historical Studies

"Why Australia Prospered is both expansively ambitious and narrowly precise. . . . McLean is a meticulous analyst and a calm judge, comfortable with unorthodoxy and big turning points if that is where the evidence leads."--Jock Given, Inside Story

"McLean's telling of Australian economic history is not only fascinating, it is also fresh. . . . [It is] a book that better integrates Australia's story into mainstream economic history than any before it."--Andrew Leigh, Journal of Economic Literature

"It is engagingly written. . . . Most important of all is McLean's impressive use of the comparative approach. . . . While the book's focus is on natural resources and institutions, the author provides stimulating interpretations of many phases of economic history."--Simon Ville, American Historical Review

"Why Australia Prospered is a rewarding read. The book is targeted at a broad audience, and to this end, MacLean interweaves historical narrative with analysis. Its chronological presentation allows some refreshing perspectives on events, and theoretical and policy debates, all of which are informed by the deep scholarship that the author demonstrates. . . . [T]his is an excellent and enjoyable book that reminds us of the importance of historical context."--Shauna Phillips, Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource

From the Back Cover

"Looking at a period spanning two hundred years, this book explores why Australia was so rich at the end of the nineteenth century and why it has remained rich. McLean shows how history sheds light on Australia's long-run economic performance and he cogently discusses the contributions and limitations of formal theory in explaining Australian growth."--George Grantham, professor emeritus, McGill University

"This exceptionally well-written book explains why Australia has been almost continuously prosperous since the first settlement. A truly deep study of the mechanisms of economic growth, it is a top-rate contribution to its field and will become the standard work on Australian economic history."--Eric Jones, professor emeritus, La Trobe University

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Yoda on August 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This book does a very good job at providing an overview of Australia’s economic history and development. It covers Australia’s economic history from the era just before the English and Europeans arrived to the previous decade (2000s). It not only provides a very good historical narrative of this period but also answers quite a few questions that readers may have regarding Australia. For example, why despite Australia’s mineral wealth were no other important sectors of the Economy such as manufacturing deeply (and negatively) impacted through what economists call “Dutch Disease” (damage resulting from currency appreciation due to very favorable balance of payments)? Answer: despite the mineral wealth it still, historically, amounted to relatively small percentage of aggregate economic activity (unlike, say, the oil sector in the gulf states). This is not to say there were not negative impacts. These came through different channels. In particular through the impact in the labor short market (i.e., raising incomes). The book also answers the question of why the presence of such mineral wealth did not lead to the growth of related industries like in the US and Canada? In those countries, for example, the discovery of large iron ore depots lead to the development of significant steel production. In Australia, on the other hand, large iron ore deposits did not lead to the production of steel on a large scale. Answer: Australia, unlike the US, did not have a large population (and hence market) for steel, it was located far from international markets and Australia did not have a transportation infrastructure, especially natural, that facilitated cheap transportation of iron ore to population centers.Read more ›
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Carnegie on February 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A far truer view of why we are the lucky country. Coherent in a sea of polemic. Wise in a field of shallow. Better than the fatal shore
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Why Australia Prospered: The Shifting Sources of Economic Growth (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World)
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