Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction [#282]
Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction [#282]

Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction [#282]

Robert C. Allen


  • Takes a global look at the wealth and economic history of countries around the world
  • Uses historical examples to show the strengths and weaknesses of state intervention in the economy
  • Considers the various factors that influence economic growth, including culture, institutions, technology, the natural environment, income distribution, and the standard of living
  • Exposes the historical processes that have created the unequal world we live in today
  • Considers recent developments such as the 'great divergence' debate and empricial studies of economic growth by economists

Why are some countries rich and others poor? In 1500, the income differences were small, but they have grown dramatically since Columbus reached America. Since then, the interplay between geography, globalization, technological change, and economic policy has determined the wealth and poverty of nations. 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 by 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, banks to stabilize the currency and mobilize domestic savings for investment, and mass education to prepare people for industrial work. 

Together these countries pioneered new technologies that have made them ever richer. Before the Industrial Revolution, most of the world's manufacturing was done in Asia, but industries from Casablanca to Canton were destroyed by western competition in the nineteenth century, and Asia was transformed into 'underdeveloped countries' specializing in agriculture. The spread of economic development has been slow since modern technology was invented to fit the needs of rich countries and is ill adapted to the economic and geographical conditions of poor countries. A few countries - Japan, Soviet Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, and perhaps China - have, nonetheless, caught up with the West through creative responses to the technological challenge and with Big Push industrialization that has achieved rapid growth through investment coordination. Whether other countries can emulate the success of East Asia is a challenge for the future.


1: The great divergence
2: The rise of the west
3: The industrial revolution
4: The ascent of the rich
5: The great empires
6: The Americas
7: Africa
8: The standard model and late industrialization
9: Big push industrialization


Robert C. Allen is Professor of Economic History at Oxford Univeristy and a Fellow of Nuffield College. He has written on English agricultural history, international competition in the steel industry, the extinction of whales, andt he contemporary policies on education. His articles have won the Cole Prize, the Redlich Prize, and the Explorations Prize. His previous books include Enclosure and the Yeoman: The Agricultural Development of the South Midlands, 1450-1850 (2009), and Farm to Factory: A Re-interpretation of the Soviet Industrial Revolution (2003), both of which won the Ranki Prize of the Economic History Association.He is currently studying the global history of wages and prices and pre-industrial living standards around the world. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Society of Canada.


ISBN : 9780199596652

Robert C. Allen
192 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction [#282]

Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction [#282]

Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction [#282]