- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (November 15, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199596654
- ISBN-13: 978-0199596652
- Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.5 x 4.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction 1st Edition
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About the Author
Robert C. Allen is Professor of Economic History at Oxford University. He is a fellow of the British Academy.
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Top customer reviews
Globalization spurred northwestern Europe forward but held southern Europe back, while demanding additional labour, agricultural revolution, energy revolution, and high level literacy. The Industrial Revolution became a turning point in the world history for it's inaugurating the era of sustained economic growth. Why The Industrial Revolution started in Britain is explained by profitability. Considering Britain's high-wage and cheap-energy economy as a result of political, cultural and geometrical context at that time, business in England found using technology as profitable. All of today's rich countries were involved in creating entirely new industries made in the late 19th century. High wages induced more capital-intensive production that led to higher wages. The Western countries enjoyed an ascending spiral of progress, while today's poor countries missed the elevator. Technical change with globalization prompted de-industrializing the ancient manufacturing economies of the empires in the east of Europe.
The industrialization of the USA depended on four supportive policies which constituted "the standard model" for economic development in the 19th century; mass education, expanding the market, a national bank, and a tariff. Allen thinks these four policies were the necessary conditions to industrialize, though not always were enough. The different development trajectories of North and South America are rooted in geography and demography. The abundance of free land on the frontier generated high real wages in North America.
Sub-Saharan Africa lacked preconditions for modern economic growth, like productive agriculture, diversified manufacturing, and the institutional and cultural resources, which kept Africa poor for so long.
While Europe and North America had pushed ahead of the rest of the world, Tsarist Russia, Japan, and Latin America tried to apply "the standard model," however, less fruitful. The large economies that have broken out of poverty in the 20th century have to make a grand design of the big push which requires a planning authority to coordinate the activities and ensure it's being carried out. Soviet, Japan, China succeeded in this by government intervention. What to do for Africa, Latin America, and the rest of Asia, to close gaps with the West. Allen concludes the best policy to effect economic development to these countries remains in dispute.
The book gives interesting historical record of industrial development.
Still, some concepts are less then convincing. Industrial revolution is a consequence of coal price in England and level of development of West Africa is mainly function of palm oil price. Probably some better explanations could be found.
Very interesting researches, hard work on reconstruction of time series and a lot of good descriptive statistics. Convincing attempts to explain differences between initially similar countries focused on details. Very interesting and innovative description of Asian industrial development.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a very brief book, as stated by the title, so one cannot expect subtle insights.Read more