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Very Short Introductions #282: Global Economic History


Very Short Introductions #282: Global Economic History Cover


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Publisher Comments:

Why are some countries rich and others poor? In 1500, global income differences were small, but disparities have grown dramatically since Columbus reached America. In this Very Short Introduction, Robert C. Allen shows how the interplay of geography, globalization, technological change, and economic policy has determined the wealth and poverty of nations. Allen shows how 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, pursuing four polices--creating a national market by abolishing internal tariffs and investing in transportation, erecting an external tariff to protect their fledgling industries from British competition, creating banks to stabilize the currency and mobilize domestic savings for investment, and promoting mass education to prepare people for industrial work. Together these countries pioneered new technologies that have made them ever richer. A few countries--Japan, Soviet Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, and perhaps China--have caught up with the West through creative responses to the technological challenge and with Big Push industrialization that has achieved rapid growth through coordinated investment.

About the Author

Robert C. Allen is Professor of Economic History at Oxford University. He is a fellow of the British Academy.

Table of Contents

1. The great divergence

2. The rise of the west

3. The industrial revolution

4. Continental industrialization and the 20th century

5. The great empires

6. The Americas

7. Africa

8. East Asia


Product Details

Allen, Robert C.
Oxford University Press
Economic History
Economics -- History.
Business-History and Biography
Publication Date:
15 b/w line drawings
4.4 x 6.7 x 0.5 in 0.331 lb

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Product details 152 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780199596652 Reviews:
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