Great Divergence is a term made popular by Kenneth Pomeranz's book
by that title, (also known as the European miracle, a term coined by
Eric Jones in 1981) referring to the process by which the Western
Western Europe and the parts of the
New World where its
people became the dominant populations) overcame pre-modern growth
constraints and emerged during the 19th century as the most powerful
and wealthy world civilization, eclipsing Medieval India,
the Islamic World, and Tokugawa Japan.
Scholars have proposed a wide variety of theories to explain why the
Great Divergence happened, including geography, culture, institutions,
colonialism, resources, and "accidents of history". Scholars also
trace back the beginning of the
Great Divergence to different periods,
with many tracing it back to the
Industrial Revolution in 18th-century
Britain, while others trace it back to earlier periods of Western
history, such as the commercial revolution and the origins of
mercantilism and capitalism during the
Renaissance and the Age of
Discovery, the rise of the European colonial empires,
proto-globalization, the Scientific Revolution, or the Age of
Enlightenment. The "traditional view", sometimes described as a
near-consensus view, is that the
Great Divergence occurred
before the Industrial Revolution, with Western European states
Japan and the
Middle East by 1750.
However, the "revisionist" view of the "California School" estimates
that the divergence started around 1800 during the Industrial
Technological advances, in areas such as railroads, steamboats,
mining, and agriculture, were embraced to a higher degree in the West
than the East during the Great Divergence. Technology led to increased
industrialization and economic complexity in the areas of agriculture,
trade, fuel and resources, further separating the East and the West.
Western Europe's use of coal as an energy substitute for wood in the
mid-19th century gave it a major head start in modern energy
According to one study, "in the twentieth century, the Great
Divergence peaked before the First World War and continued until the
early 1970s, then, after two decades of indeterminate fluctuations, in
the late 1980s it was replaced by the Great Convergence as the
majority of Third World countries reached economic growth rates
significantly higher than those in most First World countries."
1 Terminology and definition
2 Conditions in pre-
Great Divergence cores
2.1 Western Europe
2.4 Middle East
2.7 Sub-Saharan Africa
3 Possible factors
3.2 Efficiency of markets and state intervention
3.3 State prohibition of new technology
3.5 Wages and living standards
3.6 European colonialism
3.7 Luxury consumption
3.8 Property rights
3.9 New World
3.10 High-level equilibrium trap
3.12 Political fragmentation
3.13 Representative government
4 Economic effects
4.2 Per capita income
4.4 Fuel and resources
4.6 Guilds and journeymanship
5 See also
6.1 Works cited
7 Further reading
8 External links
Terminology and definition
The term "Great Divergence" was coined by Samuel P. Huntington in
1996 and used by
Kenneth Pomeranz in his book The Great Divergence:
China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy (2000). The
same phenomenon was discussed by Eric Jones, whose 1981 book The
European Miracle: Environments, Economies and Geopolitics in the
Asia popularized the alternate term "European
Miracle". Broadly, both terms signify a socioeconomic shift in
which European countries advanced ahead of others during the modern
The timing of the
Great Divergence is in dispute among historians. The
traditional dating is as early as the 16th (or even 15th) century,
with scholars arguing that
Europe had been on a trajectory of higher
growth since that date. Pomeranz and others argue that the period
of most rapid divergence was during the 19th century. Citing
nutrition data and chronic European trade deficits as evidence, these
scholars argue that before that date
Asia was wealthier and more
China in the Yangzi Delta and
India, as well as Egypt. Others, while accepting
parity of incomes between the most prosperous parts of China,
India, Egypt and
Europe in the late 18th century, trace
the first significant changes in European economies back to the 17th
century. Others argue that the cultural factors behind the
divergence can be traced to earlier periods and institutions such as
Renaissance and the Chinese imperial examination system.
Conditions in pre-
Great Divergence cores
Unlike modern industrial economies, pre-modern economies were
constrained by conditions which greatly limited economic growth.
Although core regions in Eurasia had achieved a relatively high
standard of living by the 18th century, shortages of land, soil
degradation, deforestation, lack of dependable energy sources, and
other ecological constraints limited growth in per capita incomes.
Rapid rates of depreciation on capital meant that a great part of
savings in pre-modern economies were spent on replacing depleted
capital, hampering capital accumulation. Massive windfalls of
fuel, land, food and other resources were necessary for continued
growth and capital accumulation, leading to colonialism. The
Industrial Revolution overcame these restraints, allowing rapid,
sustained growth in per capita incomes for the first time in human
After the Viking, Muslim and Magyar invasions waned in the 10th
Europe entered a period of prosperity, population growth and
territorial expansion known as the High Middle Ages.
commerce revived, with increased specialization between areas and
between the countryside and artisans in towns. By the 13th century the
best land had been occupied and agricultural income began to fall,
though trade and commerce continued to expand, especially in Venice
and other northern Italian cities. The 14th century brought a series
of calamities: famines, wars, the
Black Death and other epidemics. The
resulting drop in the population led to falling rents and rising
wages, undermining the feudal and manorial relationships that had
characterized Medieval Europe.
According to a 2014 study, "there was a ‘little divergence’ within
Europe between 1300 and 1800: real wages in the North Sea area more or
less stabilized at the level attained after the Black Death, and
remained relatively high (above subsistence) throughout the early
modern period (and into the nineteenth century); whereas, on the other
hand, real wages in the ‘periphery’ (in Germany, Italy, and Spain)
began to fall after the fifteenth century and returned to some kind of
subsistence minimum during the 1500–1800 period. This ‘little
divergence’ in real wages mirrors a similar divergence in GDP per
capita: in the ‘periphery’ of
Europe there was almost no per
capita growth (or even a decline) between 1500 and 1800, whereas in
England real income continued to rise and more or less
doubled in this period."
Age of Exploration
Age of Exploration navigators discovered new routes to the
Americas and Asia. Commerce expanded, together with innovations such
as joint stock companies and various financial institutions. New
military technologies favored larger units, leading to a concentration
of power in states whose finances relied on trade.
France and Spain
developed absolute monarchies reliant on high taxes and state-backed
monopolies, leading to economic decline. The
Dutch Republic was
controlled by merchants, while Parliament gained control of England
after a long struggle culminating in the Glorious Revolution. These
arrangements proved more hospitable to economic development. At
the end of the 16th century London and Antwerp began pulling away from
other European cities, as illustrated in the following graph of real
wages in several European cities:
The West had a series of unique advantages compared to Asia, such as
the proximity of coal mines; the discovery of the New World, which
alleviated ecological restraints on economic growth (land shortages
etc.); and the profits from colonization.
Comparative populations (millions, log scale) of
China and Continental
Europe between 1000 and 1975.
China had a larger population than
Europe throughout the Common
Era. Unlike Europe, it was politically united for long periods
during that time.
Song Dynasty (960–1279), the country experienced a
revolution in agriculture, water transport, finance, urbanization,
science and technology, which made the Chinese economy the most
advanced in the world from about 1100. Mastery of wet-field
rice cultivation opened up the hitherto underdeveloped south of the
country, while later northern
China was devastated by Jur'chen and
Mongol invasions, floods and epidemics. The result was a dramatic
shift in the center of population and industry from the home of
Chinese civilization around the
Yellow River to the south of the
country, a trend only partially reversed by the re-population of the
north from the 15th century. By 1300,
China had fallen behind
Italy in living standards.
In the late imperial period (1368–1911), comprising the
Qing dynasties, taxation was low, and the economy and population grew
significantly, though without substantial increases in
productivity. Chinese goods such as silk, tea and ceramics were in
great demand in Europe, leading to an inflow of silver, expanding the
money supply and facilitating the growth of competitive and stable
markets. By the end of the 18th century, population density levels
exceeded those in Europe.
China had more large cities but far
fewer small ones than in contemporary Europe. The traditional view
is that the
Great Divergence between
Europe had begun by
1750, before the Industrial Revolution. Revisionist
scholarship, however, estimates that the
Great Divergence did not
begin until the 19th century, during the Industrial
Economic history of India
The global contribution to world's GDP by major economies from 1 CE to
2003 CE according to Angus Maddison's estimates. Up until the 18th
India were the two largest economies by GDP output.
By the 1500s,
India benefited from extensive external and internal
trade. Its agriculture was highly efficient as well as its industry.
Japan and western and central Europe,
India did not
experience extensive deforestation until the 19th and 20th centuries.
It thus had no pressure to move to coal as a source of energy.
From the 17th century, cotton textiles from Mughal
popular in Europe, with some governments banning them to protect their
wool industries. In the 18th century,
India were the most
important manufacturers in world trade, producing about 25% of the
world's industrial output in 1750, with
Mughal Bengal in
particular being globally dominant in industries such as textile
manufacturing and shipbuilding.
In early modern Europe, there was significant demand for products from
Mughal India, particularly cotton textiles, as well as goods such as
spices, peppers, indigo, silks, and saltpeter (for use in
munitions). European fashion, for example, became increasingly
dependent on Indian textiles and silks. In the 17th and 18th
India accounted for 95% of British imports from Asia, and
Bengal Subah alone accounted for 40% of Dutch imports from
Amiya Kumar Bagchi estimates 10.3% of Bihar's populus were
involved in hand spinning thread, 2.3% weaving, and 9% in other
manufacturing trades, in 1809-13, to satisfy this demand. In
contrast, there was very little demand for European goods in India,
which was largely self-sufficient, thus Europeans had very little to
offer, except for some woolens, unprocessed metals and a few luxury
items. The trade imbalance caused Europeans to export large quantities
of gold and silver to
India in order to pay for Indian imports.
Economic history of the Ottoman Empire
Middle East was more advanced than
Western Europe in 1000 CE, on
par by the middle of the 16th century, but by 1750, leading
Middle-Eastern states had fallen behind the leading Western European
states of Britain and the Netherlands.
An example of a Middle-Eastern country that had an advanced economy in
the early 19th century was Ottoman Egypt, which had a highly
productive industrial manufacturing sector, and per-capita income that
was comparable to leading Western European countries such as France
and higher than that of
Japan and Eastern Europe. Other parts of
the Ottoman Empire, particularly
Syria and southeastern Anatolia, also
had a highly productive manufacturing sector that was evolving in the
19th century. In 1819,
Egypt under Muhammad Ali
Egypt under Muhammad Ali began programs of
state-sponsored industrialization, which included setting up factories
for weapons production, an iron foundry, large-scale cotton
cultivation, mills for ginning, spinning and weaving of cotton, and
enterprises for agricultural processing. By the early 1830s,
30 cotton mills, employing about 30,000 workers. In the early 19th
Egypt had the world's fifth most productive cotton industry,
in terms of the number of spindles per capita. The industry was
initially driven by machinery that relied on traditional energy
sources, such as animal power, water wheels, and windmills, which were
also the principle energy sources in
Western Europe up until around
1870. While steam power had been experimented with in Ottoman
Egypt by engineer
Taqi ad-Din Muhammad ibn Ma'ruf
Taqi ad-Din Muhammad ibn Ma'ruf in 1551, when he
invented a steam jack driven by a rudimentary steam turbine, it
Muhammad Ali of Egypt
Muhammad Ali of Egypt in the early 19th century that steam
engines were introduced to Egyptian industrial manufacturing.
Boilers were manufactured and installed in Egyptian industries such as
ironworks, textile manufacturing, paper mills, and hulling mills.
Compared to Western Europe,
Egypt also had superior agriculture and an
efficient transport network through the Nile. Economic historian Jean
Batou argues that the necessary economic conditions for rapid
industrialization existed in
Egypt during the 1820s–1830s.
After the death of Muhammad Ali in 1849, his industrialization
programs fell into decline, after which, according to historian
Zachary Lockman, “
Egypt was well on its way to full integration into
a European-dominated world market as supplier of a single raw
material, cotton.” Lockman argues that, had
Egypt succeeded in its
industrialization programs, “it might have shared with
Japan [or the
United States] the distinction of achieving autonomous capitalist
development and preserving its independence.”
Japanese society was governed by the Tokugawa Shogunate, which divided
Japanese society into a strict hierarchy and intervened considerably
in the economy through state monopolies and restrictions on
foreign trade; however, in practice, the Shogunate's rule was often
circumvented. From 725-1974,
Japan experienced GDP per capita
growth at an annual rate of 0.04%, with major periods of positive per
capita GDP growth occurring during 1150-1280, 1450-1600 and after
1730. There were no significant periods of sustained growth
reversals. Relative to the United Kingdom, GDP per capita was at
roughly similar levels until the middle of the 17th century.
By 1850, per capita incomes in
Japan were approximately a quarter of
the British level. However, 18th-century
Japan had a higher life
expectancy, 41.1 years for adult males,[not in citation given]
compared with 31.6 to 34 for England, between 27.5 and 30 for France,
and 24.7 for Prussia.
In its earlier days, Korea had healthy international trading
relationships, receiving merchants from as far as the Middle East.
Because of its strategic value to its neighboring countries, however,
Korea had been invaded several times during its Goryeo and Joseon
eras, starting with the Mongol invasion in the 13th century. Though
repelled due to its strong navy and aid from China, the Japanese
invasions in the late 16th century were particularly devastating to
the peninsula and it never truly recovered until the modern era.
Due to relatively frequent invasions, increased Western colonization
of Asia, and the arrival of Christian missionaries, Korea began a long
period of isolationism, maintaining diplomatic relationships primarily
China only. For the rest of the Joseon period, the country
was marred by economic hardships, peasant revolts, and political
factionalism until it was annexed by
Japan in the early 20th
Africa was politically fragmented, just as
Africa was however far more sparsely
populated than Europe. According to University of Michigan
political scientist Mark Dincecco, "the high land/ labor ratio may
have made it less likely that historical institutional centralization
at the “national level” would occur in sub-Saharan Africa,
thwarting further state development." The transatlantic slave
trade may have further weakened state power in Africa.
Scholars have proposed numerous theories to explain why the Great
The distribution of coal deposits shaped industrial development in
In metallurgy and steam engines the
Industrial Revolution made
extensive use of coal and coke - as cheaper, more plentiful and more
efficient than wood and charcoal. Coal-fired steam engines also
operated in the railways and in shipping, revolutionizing transport in
the early 19th century.
Kenneth Pomeranz drew attention to differences in the availability of
coal between West and East. Due to regional climate, European coal
mines were wetter, and deep mines did not become practical until the
introduction of the
Newcomen steam engine
Newcomen steam engine to pump out groundwater. In
mines in the arid northwest of China, ventilation to prevent
explosions was much more difficult.
Another difference involved geographic distance; although
Europe had comparable mining technologies, the distances between the
economically developed regions and coal deposits differed vastly. The
largest coal deposits in
China are located in the northwest, within
reach of the Chinese industrial core during the Northern Song
(960-1127). During the 11th century
China developed sophisticated
technologies to extract and use coal for energy, leading to soaring
iron production. The southward population shift between the 12th
and 14th centuries resulted in new centers of Chinese industry far
from the major coal deposits. Some small coal deposits were available
locally, though their use was sometimes hampered by government
regulations. In contrast, Britain contained some of the largest coal
deposits in Europe - all within a relatively compact island.
Ottoman Egypt, which used steam power for industrial manufacturing
Muhammad Ali Pasha
Muhammad Ali Pasha (ruled 1805-1848), had a lack of coal
resources. However, Muhammad Ali Pasha's prospectors searched for coal
deposits, and boilers were manufactured and installed in various
Egypt also imported coal from overseas, at similar prices
to what imported coal cost in France, until the 1830s, when Cairo
gained access to coal sources in Lebanon, which had a yearly coal
output of 4,000 tons. Economic historian Jean Batou argues that, in
addition to having the necessary conditions for rapid
Egypt also had the necessary conditions for the
adoption of oil as a potential energy source for its steam engines
later in the 19th century.
Efficiency of markets and state intervention
A common argument is that
Europe had more free and efficient markets
than other civilizations, which has been cited as a reason for the
Great Divergence. In Europe, market efficiency was disrupted by
the prevalence of feudalism and mercantilism. Practices such as
entail, which restricted land ownership, hampered the free flow of
labor and buying and selling of land. These feudal restrictions on
land ownership were especially strong in continental Europe.
a relatively more liberal land market, hampered only by weak customary
traditions. Bound labor, such as serfdom and slavery were more
Europe than in China, even during the Manchu
conquest. Urban industry in the West was more restrained by guilds
and state-enforced monopolies than in China, where in the 18th century
the principal monopolies governed salt and foreign trade through
Guangzhou. Pomeranz rejects the view that market institutions were
the cause of the Great Divergence, and concludes that
China was closer
to the ideal of a market economy than Europe.
Paul Bairoch presents a contrary argument, that
Western countries such as the United States, Britain and Spain did not
initially have free trade, but had protectionist policies in the early
19th century, as did
China and Japan. In contrast, he cites the
Ottoman Empire as an example of a state that did have free trade,
which he argues had a negative economic impact and contributed to its
Ottoman Empire had a liberal trade policy,
open to foreign imports, which has origins in capitulations of the
Ottoman Empire, dating back to the first commercial treaties signed
France in 1536 and taken further with capitulations in 1673 and
1740, which lowered duties to only 3% for imports and exports. The
liberal Ottoman policies were praised by British economists advocating
free trade, such as
J. R. McCulloch
J. R. McCulloch in his Dictionary of Commerce
(1834), but later criticized by British politicians opposing free
trade, such as prime minister Benjamin Disraeli, who cited the Ottoman
Empire as "an instance of the injury done by unrestrained competition"
in the 1846
Corn Laws debate:
There has been free trade in Turkey, and what has it produced? It has
destroyed some of the finest manufactures of the world. As late as
1812 these manufactures existed; but they have been destroyed. That
was the consequences of competition in Turkey, and its effects have
been as pernicious as the effects of the contrary principle in Spain.
State prohibition of new technology
Jared Diamond in the book
Guns, Germs, and Steel
Guns, Germs, and Steel argues that explicit
outlawing of new technology was an important explanation for the
divergence. For example, in
China in 1432, a new Emperor outlawed the
building of ocean-going ships, in which
China was the world leader at
the time. Diamond traces this to differences in geography. Outside
Europe advanced cultures developed in areas whose geography was
conducive to large, monolithic, isolated empires. In these conditions
policies of technological and social stagnation could persist. On the
other hand, Europe's geography favored balkanization into smaller,
closer, nation-states, as its many natural barriers (mountains,
rivers) provide defensible borders. As a result, governments that
suppressed economic and technological progress soon corrected their
mistakes or were out-competed relatively quickly. He argues that
geographical factors created the conditions for more rapid internal
superpower change (Spain succeeded by
France and then by the United
Kingdom) than was possible elsewhere in Eurasia.
Beginning in the early 19th century, economic prosperity rose greatly
in the West due to improvements in technological efficiency, as
evidenced by the advent of new conveniences including the railroad,
steamboat, steam engine, and the use of coal as a fuel source. These
innovations contributed to the Great Divergence, elevating
United States to high economic standing relative to the East.
It has been argued the attitude of the East towards innovation is one
of the other factors that might have played a big role in the West's
advancements over the East. According to David Landes, after a few
centuries of innovations and inventions, it seemed like the East
stopped trying to innovate and began to sustain what they had. They
kept nurturing their pre-modern inventions and did not move forward
with the modern times.
China decided to continue a self-sustaining
process of scientific and technological advancement on the basis of
their indigenous traditions and achievements. The East’s
attitude towards innovation showed that they focused more on
experience, while the West focused on experimentation. The East did
not see the need to improve on their inventions and thus from
experience, focused on their past successes. While they did this, the
West was focused more on experimentation and trial by error, which led
them to come up with new and different ways to improve on existing
innovations and create new ones.
In the early 19th century,
Egypt under Muhammad Ali
Egypt under Muhammad Ali began a program of
state-sponsored industrialization, quick to adopt steam engine
technology, and manufacturing boilers for installation in a number of
industries, including ironworks, textile manufacturing, paper mills,
and hulling mills. While there was a lack of coal deposits in
Egypt, Muhammad Ali Pasha's prospectors searched for coal deposits in
Egypt while importing coal from overseas at similar prices to what
imported coal cost in France, until the 1830s when
Egypt gained access
to coal sources in
Lebanon with its yearly coal output of 4,000 tons.
Economic historian Jean Batou argues that
Egypt had the necessary
economic conditions for rapid industrialization in the early 19th
century, and for the adoption of oil as a potential energy source for
its steam engines later in the 19th century.
Wages and living standards
Classical economists, beginning with
Adam Smith and Thomas Malthus,
argued that high wages in the West stimulated labor-saving
technological advancements. Economic historian Robert Allen
has argued that high wages, cheap capital and very cheap energy in
Britain made it the ideal place for the industrial revolution to
occur. These factors made it vastly more profitable to invest in
research and development, and to put technology to use in Britain than
However, more recent studies have depicted living standards in 18th
China and pre-
Life expectancy in
Japan for adult males
were 39.6 and 41.1 respectively, compared with 34 for England, between
27.5 and 30 for France, and 24.7 for Prussia. Chinese laborers in
the Yangtze delta consumed 4,600 calories per day on average (laborers
China overall consumed 2,637 calories on average) compared with
2,000-2,500 calories per day for England. According to Pomeranz
and others, there was modest per capita growth in both regions,
the Chinese economy was not stagnant, and in many areas, especially
agriculture, was ahead of Western Europe. Chinese cities were also
ahead in public health. Economic historian
Paul Bairoch estimated
GNP per capita in 1800 was $228 in 1960 US dollars
($1,007 in 1990 dollars), higher than Western Europe's $213 ($941 in
1990 dollars) at the time.
There have been similar findings for India.
Real wages and living
standards in 18th-century
Bengal and Mysore were higher than in
Britain, which in turn had the highest living standards in
Europe. Workers in the textile industry, for example, earned
Bengal and Mysore than they did in Britain, while agricultural
labour in Britain had to work longer hours to earn the same amount as
in Mysore. In the late 18th century, Mysore's average per-capita
income was five times higher than subsistence level, i.e. five
times higher than $400 (1990 international dollars), or $2,000 per
capita. In comparison, the highest national per-capita incomes in 1820
were $1,838 for the Netherlands and $1,706 for Britain.
Similarly for Ottoman Egypt, its per-capita income in 1800 was
comparable to that of leading Western European countries such as
France, and higher than the overall average income of
Japan. Economic historian Jean Barou estimated that, in terms of
Egypt in 1800 had a per-capita income of $232 ($1,025 in
1990 dollars). In comparison, per-capita income in terms of 1960
France in 1800 was $240 ($1,060 in 1990 dollars), for
Eastern Europe in 1800 was $177 ($782 in 1990 dollars), and for Japan
in 1800 was $180 ($795 in 1990 dollars).
According to Paul Bairoch, in the mid-18th century, "the average
standard of living in
Europe was a little bit lower than that of the
rest of the world." He estimated that, in 1750, the average GNP
per capita in the
Eastern world (particularly China,
India and the
Middle East) was $188 in 1960 dollars ($830 in 1990 dollars), higher
than the West's $182 ($804 in 1990 dollars). He argues that it was
after 1800 that Western European per-capita income pulled ahead.
However, the average incomes of China and Egypt were still
higher than the overall average income of Europe.
A number of economic historians have argued that European colonialism
played a major role in the deindustrialization of non-Western
societies. Paul Bairoch, for example, cites
British colonialism in
India as a primary example, but also argues that European colonialism
played a major role in the deindustrialization of other countries in
Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, and contributed to a sharp
economic decline in Africa. Other modern economic historians have
blamed British colonial rule for India's deindustrialization in
particular. The colonization of
India is seen as a
major factor behind both India's deindustrialization and Britain's
Up until the 19th century,
India was the world's leading cotton
textile manufacturer, with
Bengal and Mysore the centers of cotton
production. In order to compete with India, Britain invested in
labour-saving technical progress for textile manufacture during the
Industrial Revolution, while implementing protectionist policies such
as bans and tariffs to restrict Indian imports. At the same time, the
India Company's rule in
India contributed to its
deindustrialization, with the decline of native industry opening up a
new market for British goods. British colonization forced open the
large Indian market to British goods while restricting Indian imports
to Britain, and raw cotton was imported from
India without taxes or
tariffs to British factories which manufactured textiles from Indian
cotton and sold them back to the Indian market.
India thus served
as both an important supplier of raw goods such as cotton to British
factories and a large captive market for British manufactured
goods. In addition, the capital amassed from
Bengal following its
conquest after the
Battle of Plassey
Battle of Plassey in 1757 was used to invest in
British industries such as textile manufacturing and greatly increase
British wealth. Britain eventually surpassed
India as the
world's leading cotton textile manufacturer in the 19th century.
British colonial rule has been blamed for the subsequently dismal
state of British India's economy, with investment in Indian industries
limited since it was a colony.
Luxury consumption is regarded by many scholars to have stimulated the
development of capitalism and thus contributed to the Great
Divergence. Proponents of this view argue that workshops, which
manufactured luxury articles for the wealthy, gradually amassed
capital to expand their production and then emerged as large firms
producing for a mass market; they believe that Western Europe's unique
tastes for luxury stimulated this development further than other
cultures. However, others counter that luxury workshops were not
unique to Europe; large cities in
Japan also possessed many
luxury workshops for the wealthy, and that luxury workshops do
not necessarily stimulate the development of "capitalistic
Differences in property rights have been cited as a possible cause of
the Great Divergence. This view states that Asian merchants
could not develop and accumulate capital because of the risk of state
expropriation and claims from fellow kinsmen, which made property
rights very insecure compared to those of Europe. However, others
counter that many European merchants were de facto expropriated
through defaults on government debt, and that the threat of
expropriation by Asian states was not much greater than in Europe,
except in Japan.
Government and policies are seen as an integral part of modern
societies and have played a major role in how different economies have
been formed. The Eastern societies had governments which were
controlled by the ruling dynasties and thus, were not a separate
entity. Their governments at the time lacked policies that fostered
innovation and thus resulted in slow advancements. As explained by
Cohen, the east had a restrictive system of trade that went against
the free world market theory; there was no political liberty or
policies that encouraged the capitalist market (Cohen, 1993). This was
in contrast to the western society that developed commercial laws and
property rights which allowed for the protection and liberty of the
marketplace. Their capitalist ideals and market structures encouraged
Pomeranz (2000) argues that much of the land market in
China was free,
with many supposedly hereditary tenants and landlords being frequently
removed or forced to sell their land. Although Chinese customary law
specified that people within the village were to be offered the land
first, Pomeranz states that most of the time the land was offered to
more capable outsiders, and argues that
China actually had a freer
land market than Europe. Pomeranz does not address the most common
form of land sale, known as the conditional sale. The conditional sale
allowed the seller to return to the buyer many years after the sale,
and many times, to demand extra payments. He also does not account for
the inability of landlords to collect rent on second crops.[original
Robert Brenner and Chris Isett emphasize differences in land
tenancy rights. They argue that in the lower Yangtze, most farmers
either owned land or held secure tenancy at fixed rates of rent, so
that neither farmers nor landlords were exposed to competition. In
15th century England, lords had lost their serfs, but were able to
assert control over almost all of the land, creating a rental market
for tenant farmers. This created competitive pressures against
subdividing plots, and the fact that plots could not be directly
passed on to sons forced them to delay marriage until they had
accumulated their own possessions. Thus in
England both agricultural
productivity and population growth were subject to market pressures
throughout the early modern period.
A 2017 study found that secure property rights in Europe, but not in
large parts of the Middle-East, contributed to the increase of
expensive labour-saving capital goods, such as water-mills, windmills,
and cranes, in medieval
Europe but its decrease in the
Distribution of colonial empires by the end of the 18th century
A variety of theories posit Europe's unique relationship with the New
World as a major cause of the Great Divergence. The high profits
earned from the colonies and the slave trade constituted
7 percent a year, a relatively high rate of return considering
the high rate of depreciation on pre-industrial capital stocks, which
limited the amount of savings and capital accumulation. Early
European colonization was sustained by profits through selling New
World goods to Asia, especially silver to China. According to
Pomeranz, the most important advantage for
Europe was the vast amount
of fertile, uncultivated land in the Americas which could be used to
grow large quantities of farm products required to sustain European
economic growth and allowed labor and land to be freed up in Europe
New World exports of wood, cotton, and
wool are estimated to have saved
England the need for 23 to
25 million acres (100,000 km2) of cultivated land (by
comparison, the total amount of cultivated land in
England was just 17
million acres), freeing up immense amounts of resources. The New World
also served as a market for European manufactures.
Chen (2012) also suggested that the
New World as a necessary factor
for industrialization, and trade as a supporting factor causing less
developed areas to concentrate on agriculture supporting
industrialized regions in Europe.
High-level equilibrium trap
The high-level equilibrium trap theory argues that
China did not
undergo an indigenous industrial revolution since its economy was in a
stable equilibrium, where supply and demand for labor were equal,
disincentivizing the development of labor-saving capital.
Rosenberg and Birdzell claims that the so-called "eastern culture" of
"respect" and "unquestionable devotion" to the ruling dynasty was as a
result of a culture where the control of the dynasty led to a "silent
society" that "did not ask questions or experiment without the
approval or order from the ruling class". On the other hand, they
claimed that the West of the late medieval era did not have a central
authority or absolute state, which allowed for a free flow of ideas
(Rosenberg, Birdzell, 1986). This so-called "eastern culture" also
supposedly showed a "dismissal of change" due to their "fear of
failure" and disregard for the imitation of outside inventions and
science; this was different from the "western culture" which they
claimed to be willing to experiment and imitate others to benefit
their society. They claimed that this was a culture where change was
encouraged, and sense of anxiety and disregard for comfort led them to
be more innovative.
Max Weber argued in The Protestant Ethic and the
Capitalism that capitalism in northern
Europe evolved when
Protestant work ethic
Protestant work ethic (particularly Calvinist) influenced large
numbers of people to engage in work in the secular world, developing
their own enterprises and engaging in trade and the accumulation of
wealth for investment. In his book The Religion of China: Confucianism
and Taoism he blames Chinese culture for the non-emergence of
capitalism in China. Chen (2012) similarly claims that cultural
differences were the most fundamental cause for the divergence,
arguing that the
Humanism of the
Renaissance followed by the
Enlightenment (including revolutionary changes in attitude towards
religion) enabled a mercantile, innovative, individualistic, and
capitalistic spirit. For
Ming Dynasty China, he claims there existed
repressive measures which stifled dissenting opinions and
nonconformity. He claimed that
Confucianism taught that disobedience
to one's superiors was supposedly tantamount to "sin". In addition
Chen claimed that merchants and artificers had less prestige than they
did in Western Europe.
Justin Yifu Lin
Justin Yifu Lin has argued for the role of
the imperial examination system in removing the incentives for Chinese
intellectuals to learn mathematics or to conduct experimentation.
However, many scholars who have studied Confucian teachings have
criticized the claim that the philosophy promoted unquestionable
loyalty to one's superiors and the state. The core of Confucian
philosophy itself was already Humanistic and Rationalistic; it "[does]
not share a belief in divine law and [does] not exalt faithfulness to
a higher law as a manifestation of divine will."
One of the central teachings of
Confucianism is that one should
remonstrate with authority. Many Confucians throughout history
disputed their superiors in order to not only prevent the superiors
and the rulers from wrongdoing, but also to maintain the independent
spirits of the Confucians.
Furthermore, the merchant class of
China throughout all of Chinese
history were usually wealthy and held considerable influence above
their supposed social standing. Historians like Yu Yingshi and
Billy So have shown that as Chinese society became increasingly
commercialized from the
Song dynasty onward,
gradually begun to accept and even support business and trade as
legitimate and viable professions, as long as merchants stayed away
from unethical actions. Merchants in the meantime had also benefited
from and utilized Confucian ethics in their business practices. By the
Song period, the
Scholar-officials themselves were using intermediary
agents to participate in trading. This is true especially in the
Qing dynasties, when the social status of merchants had rose to
such significance that by the late
Ming period, many
scholar-officials were unabashed to declare publicly in their official
family histories that they had family members who were merchants.
Confucianism did not actively promote profit
seeking, it did not hinder China’s commercial development either.
Of the developed cores of the Old world,
India was distinguished by
its caste system of bound labor, which hampered economic and
population growth and resulted in relative underdevelopment compared
to other core regions. Compared with other developed regions, India
still possessed large amounts of unused resources. India's caste
system gave an incentive to elites to drive their unfree laborers
harder when faced with increased demand, rather than invest in new
capital projects and technology. The Indian economy was characterized
by vassal-lord relationships, which weakened the motive of financial
profit and the development of markets; a talented artisan or merchant
could not hope to gain much personal reward. Pomeranz argues that
India was not a very likely site for an industrial breakthrough,
despite its sophisticated commerce and technologies.
Islamic law have been proposed as an argument for the
divergence for the Muslim world.
Timur Kuran argues that
Islamic institutions which had at earlier stages promoted development
later started preventing more advanced development by hampering
formation of corporations, capital accumulation, mass production, and
impersonal transactions. Other similar arguments proposed include
the gradual prohibition of independent religious judgements (Ijtihad)
and a strong communalism which limited contacts with outside groups
and the development of institutions dealing with more temporary
interactions of various kinds, according to Kuran. According to
historian Donald Quataert, however, the Ottoman Middle East's
manufacturing sector was highly productive and evolving in the 19th
century. Quataert criticizes arguments rooted in Orientalism, such as
"now-discredited stereotypes concerning the inferiority of Islam",
economic institutions having stopped evolving after the Islamic Golden
Age, and decline of
Ijtihad in religion negatively affecting economic
evolution. Economic historian
Paul Bairoch noted that Ottoman law
promoted liberal free trade earlier than Britain and the United
States, arguing that free trade had a negative economic impact on the
Ottoman Empire and contributed to its deindustrialization, in contrast
to the more protectionist policies of Britain and the
United States in
the early 19th century.
In his book A Farewell to Alms, Gregory Clark argues that the human
psychological traits (such as literacy, numeracy, and delayed
gratification) needed for the divergence spread in
1200 and 1800 "at least culturally and perhaps also genetically".
Joel Mokyr has argued that political fragmentation
(the presence of a large number of European states) made it possible
for heterodox ideas to thrive, as entrepreneurs, innovators,
ideologues and heretics could easily flee to a neighboring state in
the event that the one state would try to suppress their ideas and
activities. This is what set
Europe apart from the technologically
advanced, large unitary empires such as China.
China had both a
printing press and movable type, yet the industrial revolution would
occur in Europe. In Europe, political fragmentation was coupled with
an "integrated market for ideas" where Europe's intellectuals used the
lingua franca of Latin, had a shared intellectual basis in Europe's
classical heritage and the pan-European institution of the Republic of
Economic historian Tuan-Hwee Sng has argued that the large size of the
Chinese state contributed to its relative decline in the 19th
The vast size of the Chinese empire created a severe principal-agent
problem and constrained how the country was governed. In particular,
taxes had to be kept low due to the emperor's weak oversight of his
agents and the need to keep corruption in check. The Chinese state's
fiscal weaknesses were long masked by its huge tax base. However,
economic and demographic expansion in the eighteenth century
exacerbated the problems of administrative control. This put a further
squeeze on the nation's finances and left
China ill-prepared for the
challenges of the nineteenth century.
One reason why
Japan was able to modernize and adopt the technologies
of the West was due to its much smaller size relative to China.
Jeffrey G. Williamson has argued that
India went through
a period of deindustrialization in the latter half of the 18th century
as an indirect outcome of the collapse of the Mughal Empire, with
British rule later causing further deindustrialization. According
to Williamson, the decline of the
Mughal Empire led to a decline in
agricultural productivity, which drove up food prices, then nominal
wages, and then textile prices, which led to
India losing a share of
the world textile market to Britain even before it had superior
factory technology, though Indian textiles still maintained a
competitive advantage over British textiles up until the 19th
century. Economic historian Prasannan Parthasarathi, however, has
argued that there wasn't any such economic decline for several
post-Mughal states, notably
Bengal Subah and the Kingdom of Mysore,
which were comparable to Britain in the late 18th century, until
British colonial policies caused deindustrialization.
Stanford political scientist Gary W. Cox argues in a 2017 study,
that Europe's political fragmentation interacted with her
institutional innovations to foster substantial areas of “economic
liberty,” where European merchants could organize production freer
of central regulation, faced fewer central restrictions on their
shipping and pricing decisions, and paid lower tariffs and tolls than
their counterparts elsewhere in Eurasia. When fragmentation afforded
merchants multiple politically independent routes on which to ship
their goods, European rulers refrained from imposing onerous
regulations and levying arbitrary tolls, lest they lose mercantile
traffic to competing realms. Fragmented control of trade routes
magnified the spillover effects of political reforms. If parliament
curbed arbitrary regulations and tolls in one realm, then neighboring
rulers might have to respond in kind, even if they themselves remained
without a parliament. Greater economic liberty, fostered by the
interaction of fragmentation and reform, unleashed faster and more
inter-connected urban growth.
Justin Yifu Lin
Justin Yifu Lin argued that China's large population size proved
beneficial in technological advancements prior to the 14th century,
but that the large population size was not an important factor in the
kind of technological advancements that resulted in the Industrial
Revolution. Early technological advancements depended on
"learning by doing" (where population size was an important factor, as
advances could spread over a large political unit), whereas the
Industrial Revolution was the result of experimentation and theory
(where population size is less important.
A number of economists have argued that representative government was
a factor in the Great Divergence. The argue that absolutist
governments, where rulers are not broadly accountable, are bad for
property rights and innovation, and that they are prone to corruption
and rent-seeking. Representative governments however were
accountable to broader segments of the population and thus had to
protect property rights and not rule in arbitrary ways, which caused
A 2017 study in the American Economic Review found that "globalization
was the major driver of the economic divergence between the rich and
the poor portions of the world in the years 1850-1900." The
states that benefited from globalization were "characterised by strong
constraints on executive power, a distinct feature of the
institutional environment that has been demonstrated to favour private
A number of economic historians have posited that the Industrial
Revolution may have partly occurred where and when it did due to luck
A Watt steam engine, the steam engine fuelled primarily by coal that
Industrial Revolution in Great Britain and the world
The Old World methods of agriculture and production could only sustain
Industrialization dramatically changed the
European economy and allowed it to attain much higher levels of wealth
and productivity than the other Old World cores. Although Western
technology later spread to the East, differences in uses preserved the
Western lead and accelerated the Great Divergence.
When analyzing comparative use-efficiency, the economic concept of
total factor productivity (TFP) is applied to quantify differences
between countries. TFP analysis controls for differences in energy
and raw material inputs across countries and is then used to calculate
productivity. The difference in productivity levels, therefore,
reflects efficiency of energy and raw materials use rather than the
raw materials themselves. TFP analysis has shown that Western
countries had higher TFP levels on average in the 19th century than
Eastern countries such as
India or China, showing that Western
productivity had surpassed the East.
Per capita income
Some of the most striking evidence for the
Great Divergence comes from
data on per capita income. The West's rise to power directly
coincides with per capita income in the West surpassing that in the
East. This change can be attributed largely to the mass transit
technologies, such as railroads and steamboats, that the West
developed in the 19th century. The construction of large ships,
trains, and railroads greatly increased productivity. These modes of
transport made moving large quantities of coal, corn, grain, livestock
and other goods across countries more efficient, greatly reducing
transportation costs. These differences allowed Western productivity
to exceed that of other regions.
Paul Bairoch has estimated the GDP per capita of
several major countries in 1960
US dollars after the Industrial
Revolution in the early 19th century, as shown below.
His estimates show that the GDP per capita of Western European
countries rose rapidly after industrialization.
For the 18th century, and in comparison to non-European regions,
Bairoch in 1995 stated that, in the mid-18th century, "the average
standard of living in
Europe was a little bit lower than that of the
rest of the world."
Further information: British Agricultural Revolution
Before and during the early 19th century, much of continental European
agriculture was underdeveloped compared to Asian Cores and
England. This left
Europe with abundant idle natural
resources. England, on the other hand, had reached the limit of its
agricultural productivity well before the beginning of the 19th
century. Rather than taking the costly route of improving soil
fertility, the English increased labor productivity by industrializing
agriculture. From 1750 to 1850, European nations experienced
population booms; however, European agriculture was barely able to
keep pace with the dietary needs. Imports from the Americas, and the
reduced caloric intake required by industrial workers compared to
England to cope with the food shortages. By the
turn of the 19th century, much European farmland had been eroded and
depleted of nutrients. Fortunately, through improved farming
techniques, the import of fertilizers, and reforestation, Europeans
were able to recondition their soil and prevent food shortages from
hampering industrialization. Meanwhile, many other formerly hegemonic
areas of the world were struggling to feed themselves – notably
Fuel and resources
The global demand for wood, a major resource required for industrial
growth and development, was increasing in the first half of the 19th
century. A lack of interest of silviculture in Western Europe, and a
lack of forested land, caused wood shortages. By the mid-19th century,
forests accounted for less than 15% of land use in most Western
European countries. Fuel costs rose sharply in these countries
throughout the 18th century and many households and factories were
forced to ration their usage, and eventually adopt forest conservation
policies. It was not until the 19th century that coal began providing
much needed relief to the European energy shortage.
China had not
begun to use coal on a large scale until around 1900, giving
huge lead on modern energy production.
Through the 19th century,
Europe had vast amounts of unused arable
land with adequate water sources. However, this was not the case in
China; most idle lands suffered from a lack of water supply, so
forests had to be cultivated. Since the mid-19th century, northern
China's water supplies have been declining, reducing its agricultural
output. By growing cotton for textiles, rather than importing, China
exacerbated its water shortage. During the 19th century, supplies
of wood and land decreased considerably, greatly slowing growth of
Chinese per capita incomes.
18th century triangular trade between Europe, the New World, and
During the era of European imperialism, periphery countries were often
set up as specialized producers of specific resources. Although these
specializations brought the periphery countries temporary economic
benefit, the overall effect inhibited the industrial development of
periphery territories. Cheaper resources for core countries through
trade deals with specialized periphery countries allowed the core
countries to advance at a much greater pace, both economically and
industrially, than the rest of the world.
Europe's access to a larger quantity of raw materials and a larger
market to sell its manufactured goods gave it a distinct advantage
through the 19th century. In order to further industrialize, it was
imperative for the developing core areas to acquire resources from
less densely populated areas, since they lacked the lands required to
supply these resources themselves.
Europe was able to trade
manufactured goods to their colonies, including the Americas, for raw
materials. The same sort of trading could be seen throughout regions
China and Asia, but colonization brought a distinct advantage to
the West. As these sources of raw materials began to
proto-industrialize, they would turn to import substitution, depriving
the hegemonic nations of a market for their manufactured goods. Since
European nations had control over their colonies, they were able to
prevent this from happening. Britain was able to use import
substitution to its benefit when dealing with textiles from India.
Through industrialization, Britain was able to increase cotton
productivity enough to make it lucrative for domestic production, and
India as the world's leading cotton supplier. Although
Britain had limited cotton imports to protect its own industries, they
allowed cheap British products into colonial
India from the early 19th
century. The colonial administration failed to promote Indian
industry, preferring to export raw materials.
Western Europe was also able to establish profitable trade with
Eastern Europe. Countries such as Prussia,
Poland had very
little freedom in comparison to the West;[vague] forced labor left
Eastern Europe with little time to work towards
proto-industrialization and ample manpower to generate raw
Guilds and journeymanship
A 2017 study in the
Quarterly Journal of Economics argued, "medieval
European institutions such as guilds, and specific features such as
journeymanship, can explain the rise of
Europe relative to regions
that relied on the transmission of knowledge within closed kinship
systems (extended families or clans)". Guilds and journeymanship
were superior for creating and disseminating knowledge, which
contributed to the occurrence of the
Industrial Revolution in
Second European colonization wave (19th century–20th century)
Rise of the New Imperialism
Economic history of
History of Western civilization
Textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution
A Farewell to Alms
Before and Beyond Divergence
The Clash of Civilizations
Civilization: The West and the Rest
The Civilizing Process
The European Miracle
Great Divergence and Great Convergence
The Great divergence: China, Europe, and the making of the modern
Guns, Germs, and Steel
The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers
The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community
The Wealth and Poverty of Nations
Why the West Rules—For Now
^ Maddison 2007, p. 382, Table A.7
^ Buringh, Eltjo; van Zanden, Jan Luiten: "Charting the “Rise of the
West”: Manuscripts and Printed Books in Europe, A Long-Term
Perspective from the Sixth through Eighteenth Centuries", The Journal
of Economic History, Vol. 69, No. 2 (2009), pp. 409–445
(416–417, tables 1 & 2)
^ a b Jones 2003.
^ a b c d "Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction Robert
C. Allen 9780199596652
Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press Canada".
www.oupcanada.com. 2011. Retrieved 2018-02-20. Why has the world
become increasingly unequal? Both ‘fundamentals’ like geography,
institutions, or culture and ‘accidents of history’ played a
^ pseudoerasmus (2014-06-12). "The Little Divergence". pseudoerasmus.
^ "Business History, the
Great Divergence and the Great Convergence".
HBS Working Knowledge. 2017-08-01. Retrieved 2017-08-19.
^ Vries, Peer. "Escaping Poverty".
^ a b c d Broadberry, Stephen N.; Guan, Hanhui; Li, David D.
Europe and the Great Divergence: A Study in
Historical National Accounting, 980-1850". SSRN 2957511 .
^ a b c "
China has been poorer than
Europe longer than the party
thinks". The Economist. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
^ a b Broadberry, Stephen; Gupta, Bishnupriya (2006-02-01). "The early
modern great divergence: wages, prices and economic development in
Europe and Asia, 1500–18001". The Economic History Review. 59 (1):
^ a b Koyama, Mark (2017-06-15). "Jared Rubin: Rulers, religion, and
riches: Why the West got rich and the
Middle East did not?". Public
Choice. 172: 1–4. doi:10.1007/s11127-017-0464-6.
^ a b c d e "
Japan and the Great Divergence, 730-1874 Oxford
Economic and Social History Working Papers Working Papers".
www.economics.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
^ a b c d Pomeranz 2000, pp. 36, 219–225.
^ a b c d e f Hobson 2004, p. 77.
^ a b
Paul Bairoch (1995).
Economics and World History: Myths and
Paradoxes. University of Chicago Press. pp. 101–108.
^ Goldstone, Jack A. (2015-04-26). "The Great and Little Divergence:
Where Lies the True Onset of Modern Economic Growth?". Rochester,
^ Phases of global demographic transition correlate with phases of the
Great Divergence and Great Convergence. Technological Forecasting and
Social Change. Volume 95, June 2015, p. 163; see also Great Divergence
and Great Convergence. A Global Perspective. Heidelberg – New York
– Dordrecht – London: Springer, 2015.
^ a b Frank 2001.
^ Grinin L., Korotayev A., Goldstone J.
Great Divergence and Great
Convergence. A Global Perspective. Heidelberg – New York –
Dordrecht – London: Springer, 2015.
^ Maddison 2001, pp. 51–52.
^ a b c Parthasarathi 2011, pp. 38–45.
^ a b Robert C. Allen, Tommy Bengtsson, Martin Dribe (2005), Living
Standards in the Past: New Perspectives on Well-Being in
Europe, page 173, Oxford University Press
^ a b c Chris Jochnick, Fraser A. Preston (2006), Sovereign Debt at
the Crossroads: Challenges and Proposals for Resolving the Third World
Debt Crisis, pages 86-87, Oxford University Press
^ a b c d Jean Batou (1991). Between Development and Underdevelopment:
The Precocious Attempts at
Industrialization of the Periphery,
1800-1870. Librairie Droz. pp. 181–196.
^ a b c Allen 2009, p. 548.
^ a b Justin Yifu Lin, "Demystifying the Chinese Economy", 2011,
Cambridge University Press, Preface xiv,
^ a b c Chen 2012.
^ Pomeranz 2000, p. 219.
^ a b Pomeranz 2000, p. 187.
^ Pomeranz 2000, p. 241.
^ North & Thomas 1973, pp. 11–13.
^ Bolt, Jutta; van Zanden, Jan Luiten (2014-08-01). "The Maddison
Project: collaborative research on historical national accounts". The
Economic History Review. 67 (3): 627–651.
doi:10.1111/1468-0289.12032. ISSN 1468-0289.
^ North & Thomas 1973, pp. 16–18.
^ Allen 2001.
^ Pomeranz 2000, pp. 31–69, 187.
^ a b Feuerwerker 1990, p. 227.
^ Elvin 1973, pp. 7, 113–199.
^ Elvin 1973, pp. 204–205.
^ Elvin 1973, pp. 91–92, 203–204.
^ Myers & Wang 2002, pp. 587, 590.
^ Myers & Wang 2002, p. 569.
^ Myers & Wang 2002, p. 579.
^ Data table in Maddison A (2007), Contours of the World Economy
I–2030 AD, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199227204
^ Parthasarathi 2011, pp. 180–182.
^ Parthasarathi 2011, pp. 59, 128, 138.
^ Parthasarathi 2011, p. 2.
^ a b c d Jeffrey G. Williamson, David Clingingsmith (August 2005).
Deindustrialization in the 18th and 19th Centuries" (PDF).
Harvard University. Retrieved 2017-05-18.
^ a b c d Junie T. Tong (2016), Finance and Society in 21st Century
China: Chinese Culture Versus Western Markets, page 151, CRC Press
^ a b c d
John L. Esposito
John L. Esposito (2004), The Islamic World: Past and Present
3-Volume Set, page 190, Oxford University Press
^ a b c d Ray, Indrajit (2011).
Bengal Industries and the British
Industrial Revolution (1757-1857), Routledge, ISBN 1136825525
^ a b Karl J. Schmidt (2015), An Atlas and Survey of South Asian
History, page 100, Routledge
^ Om Prakash, "Empire, Mughal", History of World
Trade Since 1450,
edited by John J. McCusker, vol. 1, Macmillan Reference USA, 2006, pp.
237-240, World History in Context, accessed 3 August 2017
^ Bagchi, Amiya (1976).
Deindustrialization in Gangetic Bihar
1809-1901. New Delhi: People’s Publishing House.
^ Islahi, Abdul Azim. "Book review. The long diverfence: how Islamic
law held back the
Middle East by Timur Kuran".
Donald Quataert (2002). Ottoman
Manufacturing in the Age of the
Industrial Revolution. Cambridge University Press.
^ a b c Zachary Lockman (Fall 1980). "Notes on Egyptian Workers'
History". International Labor and Working-Class History (18): 1–12.
^ Jean Batou (1991). Between Development and Underdevelopment: The
Precocious Attempts at
Industrialization of the Periphery, 1800-1870.
Librairie Droz. p. 181.
^ a b c d e f Jean Batou (1991). Between Development and
Underdevelopment: The Precocious Attempts at
Industrialization of the
Periphery, 1800-1870. Librairie Droz. pp. 193–196.
Ahmad Y Hassan (1976), Taqi al-Din and Arabic Mechanical
Engineering, p. 34–35, Institute for the History of Arabic Science,
University of Aleppo
^ Pomeranz 2000, p. 251.
^ Pomeranz 2000, p. 214.
^ Francks, Penelope (2016).
Japan and the Great Divergence. Palgrave
Macmillan, London. pp. 31–38.
^ a b Pomeranz 2000, p. 37.
^ Kim 2012, p. 137.
^ Kim 2012, pp. 165–168, 229–250.
^ Kim 2012, p. 274.
^ Kim 2012, pp. 270–273.
^ a b c d "State Capacity and Economic Development by Mark Dincecco".
Cambridge Core. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
^ Pomeranz 2000, p. 65.
^ Pomeranz 2000, pp. 62–66.
^ Pomeranz 2000, p. 70.
^ a b c Pomeranz 2000, pp. 70–71.
^ Pomeranz 2000, p. 82.
^ Pomeranz 2000, pp. 87, 196.
^ a b
Paul Bairoch (1995).
Economics and World History: Myths and
Paradoxes. University of Chicago Press. pp. 31–32.
^ a b c d e f g h Clark & Feenstra 2003.
^ Landes 2006, p. 5.
^ Lin 1995, p. 276.
^ Pomeranz 2000, p. 49.
^ Allen 2009, pp. 525–526.
^ a b Crafts, Nicholas (2011-04-01). "Explaining the first Industrial
Revolution: two views". European Review of Economic History. 15 (1):
153–168. doi:10.1017/S1361491610000201. ISSN 1361-4916.
^ Pomeranz 2000, p. 36.
^ Pomeranz 2000, p. 39.
^ Pomeranz 2000, p. 107.
^ Pomeranz 2000, pp. 45–48.
^ Pomeranz 2000, p. 46.
^ a b c
Fernand Braudel (1982).
Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th
Century. 3. University of California Press. p. 534.
^ Parthasarathi 2011, p. 45.
Angus Maddison (2007). The World Economy Volume 1: A Millennial
Perspective Volume 2: Historical Statistics. Academic Foundation.
^ Maddison, Angus (2007), Contours of the World Economy, 1–2030 AD.
Essays in Macro-Economic History, Oxford University Press,
ISBN 978-0-19-922721-1, p. 382, table A.7
^ a b c Jean Batou (1991). Between Development and Underdevelopment:
The Precocious Attempts at
Industrialization of the Periphery,
1800-1870. Librairie Droz. p. 189.
M. Shahid Alam (2016). Poverty From The Wealth of Nations:
Integration and Polarization in the Global Economy since 1760.
Springer Science+Business Media. p. 33.
Paul Bairoch (1995).
Economics and World History: Myths and
Paradoxes. University of Chicago Press. p. 104.
John M. Hobson (2004). The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation.
Cambridge University Press. pp. 75–76.
Paul Bairoch (1995).
Economics and World History: Myths and
Paradoxes. University of Chicago Press. pp. 88–92.
^ a b c Parthasarathi 2011.
^ a b c d e Broadberry & Gupta 2005.
^ James Cypher (2014). The Process of Economic Development.
^ Henry Yule,
A. C. Burnell (2013). Hobson-Jobson: The Definitive
Glossary of British India. Oxford University Press. p. 20.
^ Booker, M. Keith (1997). Colonial Power, Colonial Texts:
the Modern British Novel. University of Michigan. pp. 153–154.
^ T.R. Jain; V.K. Ohri. Statistics for
Economics and indian economic
development. VK publications. p. 15.
^ Pomeranz 2000, pp. 114–115.
^ Pomeranz 2000, p. 163.
^ Pomeranz 2000, p. 164.
^ a b North, Douglass C.; Weingast, Barry R. (1989). "Constitutions
and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice
in Seventeenth-Century England". The Journal of Economic History. 49
^ Acemoglu, Daron; Johnson, Simon; Robinson, James (2005). "The Rise
of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change, and Economic Growth".
American Economic Review. 95 (3): 546–579.
doi:10.1257/0002828054201305. ISSN 0002-8282.
^ Pomeranz 2000, p. 169.
^ Pomeranz 2000, p. 170.
^ Landes 2006.
^ Lin 1995.
^ Rosenberg, Nathan (1986). How The West Grew Rich: The Economic
Transformation Of The Industrial World. New York Basic Books.
^ Waley-Cohen, Joanna (1993). "
China and Western Technology in the
Late Eighteenth Century". The American Historical Review. 99 (5):
1525–1544. doi:10.2307/2167065. JSTOR 2167065.
^ Brenner & Isett 2002.
^ Van Bavel, Bas; Buringh, Eltjo; Dijkman, Jessica (2017). "Mills,
cranes, and the great divergence: the use of immovable capital goods
Europe and the Middle East, ninth to sixteenth centuries".
The Economic History Review. 71: n/a–n/a. doi:10.1111/ehr.12571.
^ Pomeranz 2000, p. 190.
^ Pomeranz 2000, p. 264.
^ Pomeranz 2000, p. 266.
^ Juergensmeyer, Mark (2005). Religion in global civil society. Oxford
University Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-19-518835-6.
^ See for example, Xu Fuguan 徐復觀, Xueshu yu Zhengzhi zhi jian
學術與政治之間. (Taibei: Taiwan Xuesheng Shuju, 1980),
101–126, 331–395, 497–502.
^ a b Gernet, Jacques (1962). Daily Life in
China on the Eve of the
Mongol Invasion, 1250–1276. Translated by H.M. Wright. Stanford:
Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-0720-0 pp. 68–69
^ Yu Yingshi 余英時, Zhongguo Jinshi Zongjiao Lunli yu Shangren
Jingshen 中國近世宗教倫理與商人精神. (Taibei: Lianjing
Chuban Shiye Gongsi, 1987).
^ Billy So, Prosperity, Region, and Institutions in Maritime China.
Harvard University Press, 2000), 253–279.
^ Billy So, “Institutions in market economies of premodern maritime
China.” In Billy So ed., The Economy of Lower
Yangzi Delta in Late
Imperial China. (New York: Routledge, 2013), 208–232.
^ Brook, Timothy. (1998). The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and
Ming China. Berkeley: University of California Press.
ISBN 0-520-22154-0 p. 161
^ Pomeranz 2000, pp. 212–214.
^ Timur Kuran, The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the
Middle East, 2010, Princeton University Press,
Timur Kuran Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics
(JITE) / Zeitschrift für die gesamte Staatswissenschaft Vol. 153, No.
1, The New Institutional
Economics Religion and
1997), pp. 41–71 Published by: Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co. KG
Article Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/40752985
Donald Quataert (2002). Ottoman
Manufacturing in the Age of the
Industrial Revolution. Cambridge University Press.
^ Clark, Gregory (2007). A Farewell to Alms. Princeton University
Press. pp. 8, 11, 120, 165, 271.
^ "Mokyr, J.: A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy.
(eBook and Hardcover)". press.princeton.edu. Retrieved 9 March
^ Sng, Tuan-Hwee (2014-10-01). "Size and dynastic decline: The
principal-agent problem in late imperial China, 1700–1850".
Explorations in Economic History. 54: 107–127.
^ Koyama, Mark; Moriguchi, Chiaki; Sng, Tuan-Hwee (2015-10-28).
"Geopolitics and Asia's Little Divergence: A Comparative Analysis of
State Building in
Japan after 1850".
SSRN 2682702 .
Jeffrey G. Williamson (2011).
Trade and Poverty: When the Third
World Fell Behind. MIT Press. p. 91.
^ Cox, Gary W. (2017). "Political Institutions, Economic Liberty, and
the Great Divergence". The Journal of Economic History. 77 (3):
724–755. doi:10.1017/S0022050717000729. ISSN 0022-0507.
^ a b Lin, Justin Yifu (1995-01-01). "The Needham Puzzle: Why the
Industrial Revolution Did Not Originate in China". Economic
Development and Cultural Change. 43 (2): 269–292.
doi:10.1086/452150. ISSN 0013-0079.
^ De Long, J. Bradford; Shleifer, Andrei (1993-10-01). "Princes and
Merchants: European City Growth before the Industrial Revolution". The
Journal of Law and Economics. 36 (2): 671–702. doi:10.1086/467294.
^ Luigi, Pascali, (/). "The Wind of Change: Maritime Technology,
Trade, and Economic Development". American Economic Review. 0 (0).
doi:10.1257/aer.20140832&&from=f. ISSN 0002-8282.
Check date values in: date= (help)
^ a b ehs1926 (2017-08-24). "Globalisation and Economic Development: A
Lesson from History". The Long Run. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
^ Acemoglu, Daron; Zilibotti, Fabrizio (1997-08-01). "Was Prometheus
Unbound by Chance? Risk, Diversification, and Growth". Journal of
Political Economy. 105 (4): 709–751. doi:10.1086/262091.
^ Crafts, N. F. R. (1977-08-01). "
Industrial Revolution in
France: Some Thoughts on the Question, "Why was
England First?"". The
Economic History Review. 30 (3): 429–441.
doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1977.tb00275.x. ISSN 1468-0289.
^ "Understanding growth in Europe, 1700–1870: theory and evidence
(Chapter 1) - The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Europe".
Cambridge Core. p. 10. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
^ Comin 2008.
^ Bairoch 1976, p. 286, table 6
^ Pomeranz 2000, pp. 215–219.
^ Pomeranz 2000, pp. 223–225.
^ Pomeranz 2000, pp. 219–225.
^ Pomeranz 2000, pp. 230–238.
^ Pomeranz 2000, pp. 228–219.
^ Williamson 2008.
^ Pomeranz 2000, pp. 242–243.
^ Parthasarathi 2011, pp. 128, 226–227, 244.
^ Parthasarathi 2011, pp. 252–258.
^ Pomeranz 2000, pp. 257–258.
^ a b de la Croix, David; Doepke, Matthias; Mokyr, Joel (2017).
"Clans, Guilds, and Markets: Apprenticeship Institutions and Growth in
the Pre-Industrial Economy". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 133:
Allen, Robert (2001), "The
Great Divergence in European Wages and
Prices from the
Middle Ages to the First World War" (PDF),
Explorations in Economic History, 38: 411–447,
—— (2009), "Agricultural productivity and rural incomes in England
and the Yangtze Delta, c. 1620–c. 1820", The Economic History
Review, 62 (3): 525–550, doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.2008.00443.x
Bairoch, Paul (1976), "Europe's Gross National Product: 1800–1975",
Journal of European Economic History, 5 (2): 273–340
Brenner, Robert; Isett, Christopher (2002), "England's Divergence from
China's Yangzi Delta: Property Relations, Microeconomics, and Patterns
of Development", The Journal of Asian Studies, 61 (2): 609–662,
Broadberry, Stephen N.; Gupta, Bishnupriya (2005), "
and the great divergence: Lancashire,
India and shifting competitive
advantage, 1600–1850", International
Macroeconomics and Economic
History Initiative, Centre for Economic Policy Research, archived from
the original on 2013-04-14
Chen, Kunting (2012), "Analysis of the
Great Divergence under a United
Endogenous Growth Model" (PDF), Annals of
Economics and Finance, 13
Clark, Gregory; Feenstra, Robert C. (2003), "Technology in the Great
Divergence", in Bordo, Michael D. (ed.), Globalization in Historical
Perspective, University of Chicago Press, pp. 277–320,
doi:10.3386/w8596, ISBN 978-0-226-06600-4 CS1 maint: Extra
text: editors list (link)
Comin, Diego (2008), "Total Factor Productivity" (PDF), in Durlauf,
Seven N. and Blume, Lawrence E. (eds.), The New Palgrave Dictionary of
Economics (2nd ed.), Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 329–331,
doi:10.1057/9780230226203.1719, ISBN 978-0-333-78676-5 CS1
maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
Elvin, Mark (1973), The Pattern of the Chinese Past, Stanford
University Press, ISBN 978-0-8047-0876-0
Feuerwerker, Albert (1990), "Chinese Economic History in Comparative
Perspective", in Ropp, Paul S., Heritage of China, University of
California Press, pp. 224–241,
Frank, Andre (2001), "Review of The Great Divergence", Journal of
Asian Studies, Cambridge University Press, 60 (1): 180–182,
Hobson, John M. (2004), The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation,
Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-54724-6
Jones, Eric (2003) [1st ed. 1981], The European Miracle: Environments,
Economies and Geopolitics in the History of
Asia (3rd ed.),
Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-52783-5
Landes, David (2006), "Why
Europe and the West? Why Not China?",
Journal of Economic Perspectives, 20 (2): 3–22,
Lin, Justin Yifu (1995), "The Needham Puzzle: Why the Industrial
Revolution Did Not Originate in China", Economic Development and
Cultural Change, 43 (2): 269–292, doi:10.1086/452150,
Maddison, Angus (2001), The World Economy, Volume 1: A Millennial
Perspective, OECD Publishing, ISBN 978-92-64-18608-8
—— (2007), Contours of the World Economy, 1–2030 AD: Essays in
Macro-Economic History, Oxford University Press,
Myers, H. Ramon; Wang, Yeh-Chien (2002), "Economic developments,
1644–1800", in Peterson, Willard, The Ch'ing Empire to 1800, The
Cambridge History of China, 9, Cambridge University Press,
pp. 563–647, ISBN 978-0-521-24334-6
North, Douglass C.; Thomas, Robert Paul (1973), The Rise of the
Western World: A New Economic History, Cambridge University Press,
Parthasarathi, Prasannan (2011), Why
Europe Grew Rich and
Not: Global Economic Divergence, 1600–1850, Cambridge University
Press, ISBN 978-1-139-49889-0
Pomeranz, Kenneth (2000), The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the
Making of the Modern World Economy, Princeton University Press,
Williamson, Jeffery G. (2008), "Globalization and the Great
Divergence: terms of trade booms, volatility and the poor periphery,
1782–1913", European Review of Economic History, 12 (03): 355–391,
Kim, Jinwung (2012), History of Korea: From "Land of the Morning Calm"
to States in Conflict, Indiana University Press,
Ray, Indrajit (2011).
Bengal Industries and the British Industrial
Revolution. Routledge. ISBN 1136825525.
Scheidel, Walter (2009), "From the 'Great Convergence' to the 'First
Great Divergence': Roman and Qin-Han State Formation and its
Aftermath", in Scheidel, Walter, Rome and China. Comparative
perspectives on ancient world empires, Oxford University Press,
pp. 11–23, doi:10.2139/ssrn.1096433,
Grinin, Leonid; Korotayev, Andrey (2015).
Great Divergence and Great
Convergence. A Global Perspective. Springer.
The Maddison-Project – Estimates of economic growth between 1 and
Balance of payments
Depression (Great Depression)
General Theory of Keynes
Rate of profit
Economies of scale
Economies of scope
Expected utility hypothesis
General equilibrium theory
Returns to scale
Social choice theory
Supply and demand
Theory of the firm
Law and economics
Ancient economic thought
Austrian school of economics
Chicago school of economics
Notable economists and
thinkers within economics
Francis Ysidro Edgeworth
John Maynard Keynes
Robert Lucas Jr.
John von Neumann
Herbert A. Simon
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
Economic Cooperation Organization
International Monetary Fund
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Business and economics portal
History of Europe
Bronze Age Europe
Iron Age Europe
Crisis of the Third Century
Fall of the Western Roman Empire
Early Middle Ages
Holy Roman Empire
High Middle Ages
Late Middle Ages
Hundred Years' War
Age of Discovery
Thirty Years' War
Early modern France
Age of Enlightenment
Revolutions of 1848
World War I
World War II
Art of Europe
Genetic history of Europe
History of the Mediterranean region
History of the European Union
History of Western civilization
Maritime history of Europe