Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Seven centuries of European economic growth and decline

Fouquet, Roger and Broadberry, Stephen (2015) Seven centuries of European economic growth and decline. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 29 (4). pp. 227-244. ISSN 0895-3309

PDF - Published Version
Download (646kB) | Preview
Identification Number: 10.1257/jep.29.4.227


This paper investigates very long run pre-industrial economic development. New annual GDP per capita data for six European countries over the last seven hundred years paint a clearer picture of the history of European economic development. First, the paper confirms that sustained growth has been a recent phenomenon, but rejects the argument that there was no long run growth in living standards before the Industrial Revolution. Instead, the evidence demonstrates the existence of numerous periods of economic growth before the nineteenth century - unsustained, but raising GDP per capita. It also shows that many of these economies experienced substantial economic decline. Thus, rather than being stagnant, pre-nineteenth century European economies experienced a great deal of change. Finally, it offers some evidence that, from the nineteenth century, these economies increased the likelihood of being in a phase of economic growth and reduced the risk of being in a phase of economic decline.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 American Economic Association
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E0 - General > E01 - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth
N - Economic History > N1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations > N13 - Europe: Pre-1913
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O11 - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2015 16:20
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2024 22:30
Projects: ES/K006576/1
Funders: Global Green Growth Institute, Economic and Social Research Council

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics