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How the World Became Rich: The Historical Origins of Economic Growth

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Moreover, in arguing “Pomeranz’s claim that the supply of coal was a binding constraint for industrialisation to take place,” Koyama and Rubin (2022, p.

But there are many key features of the onset of growth that cannot really be accounted for by colonization. To paraphrase a famous economist, a functional institutional conjuncture and high levels of human capital aren’t just causes of growth—they are growth. Exploring various factors and their interconnections offers readers a comprehensive overview of the drivers behind economic growth. The Roman world was extremely unequal, so we can’t infer much about average living standards from reading about the consumption patterns of senators. This is effectively a readable textbook…Rubin and Koyama synthesize all this literature and discuss five major ways to explain the Great Divergence: geography, demography, imperialism, culture and institutions.Additionally, the book recognizes the social and environmental implications of economic growth, addressing issues such as wealth inequality, political stability, and sustainability. I will discuss each of these elements separately, focusing more on the second, which is the substance of the argument, and organize some of my thoughts from reading. This comprehensive coverage ensures that readers gain a rounded understanding of the complex dynamics involved in growth economics. I think allowing people to match, so allowing people to move to locations where their particular skills are in demand that is crucial. On the former count, limited government and the protection of property rights tend to be globally good, and sometimes decisive in the shift to sustained growth.

Rodrik ( 1995 ), however, finds that—in the case of South Korea and Taiwan—export profitability was initially too low and the export sector too small to explain take-off during the 1960s. do note that “[w]hen a society follows the rule of law, laws are applied equally in all types of rights are protected”. Nevertheless, using relevant and relatable examples strengthens the practicality of this book by Koyama and Rubin (2022). Economic growth is intricately linked to various geographic factors, such as resource access, spatial trade patterns, and wealth distribution. The clear explanations make complex economic concepts accessible, enhancing readers’ understanding of the subject matter.but the point is well taken that you can’t really grasp the significance of geography without understanding the institutional context. This work is simple enough for the vast majority of the population to start to understand the role of innovation as it applies to growth and wealth.

Therefore, the book is recommended for students, professionals, and general readers interested in comprehensively understanding economic growth since the Industrial Revolution. They discuss recently advanced theories rooted in geography, politics, culture, demography, and colonialism. It's an old paper, I'll grant, but the theory has gained empirical backing thanks to recent work by Nathan Lane ( 2021 ) and others , who find large and persistent effects of South Korea's Heavy Chemical and Industry drive on comparative advantage and downstream production. The Republic also had plenty of canals to bind markets together, dozens of famous scientists, and proximity to French ideas.

Would innovation have been possible with more expensive cotton of different quality from other parts of the world?

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