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Accounting for the great divergence

Broadberry, Stephen (2013) Accounting for the great divergence. Economic History Working Papers, 184/13. London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

As a result of recent work on historical national accounting, it is now possible to establish firmly the timing of the Great Divergence of living standards between Europe and Asia. There was a European Little Divergence as Britain and Holland overtook Italy and Spain, and an Asian Little Divergence as Japan overtook China and India. The Great Divergence occurred because Japan grew more slowly than Britain and Holland, starting from a lower level. Key turning points are identified around 1348 and 1500, and an explanatory framework is developed that can explain these divergences via the differential impact of shocks on differently structured economies. The key shocks were the Black Death of the mid-fourteenth century and the new trade routes which opened up from Europe to Asia and the Americas at the end of the fifteenth century. The key structural factors were the type of agriculture, the age of first marriage of females, the flexibility of labour supply and the nature of state institutions.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/economicHistory/
Additional Information: © 2013 The Author
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: N - Economic History > N1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations > N10 - General, International, or Comparative
N - Economic History > N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income, and Wealth > N30 - Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income and Wealth: General, International, or Comparative (Migration)
N - Economic History > N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income, and Wealth > N35 - Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income and Wealth: Asia including Middle East
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O10 - General
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O5 - Economywide Country Studies > O57 - Comparative Studies of Countries
Sets: Departments > Economic History
Collections > Economists Online
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2013 16:35
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2013 16:35
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/54573

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