Reading: Robert Allen (2011): Why the Industrial Revolution Was British: Commerce, Induced Invention and the Scientific Revolution
Is This Person Likely to Be a Good Judge?

Reading: Stephen Broadberry (2013): Accounting for the Great Divergence

Stephen Broadberry (2013): Accounting for the Great Divergence <>

European Non-Exceptionalism:

  • Nobody in 300 AD would have seen western Europe as the future.
  • Same for 800, 1100, even 1500
  • Look at regions, not nations, and what do we see?
    • Little divergences within...
    • ...and then a great divergence between the sub-continents of Eurasia

Little Divergence in Western Europe:

  • Property,
  • Political economy,
  • England-Holland-northern France vs. Spain-Portugal-Italy

Little divergence in East Asia:

  • Mongol conquests
  • Kamikaze
  • Late marriage in Japan
  • Female labor force participation
  • Industrious revolution

Great Divergence between Europe and Asia:

  • Bubonic Plague? ( Trade plus maritime conquest plus institutions?
  • Animal-based agriculture?
  • Marriage patterns?

Five Questions:

  1. How do we try to reconcile these numbers with Allen's?

  2. Why was the curse of Malthus so much lighter in Europe--even very early?

  3. Riddle me the rise of the Netherlands: Why didn't the Industrial Revolution happen there? Labor costs look to be much higher than in England--in this dataset at least.

  4. And if not the Netherlands, Italy. Why not Italy?

  5. Bin Wong and Ken Pomeranz believe that the lower Yangtze delta is as rich as Holland in 1500. Why does Broadberry have "China" as a region--as if it were as small as Holland, or Northern Italy?



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