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The Rise of the Western World : A New Economic History

Опубликовано на портале: 22-09-2003
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976, 179 с.
A radically new interpretation, offering a unified explanation for the growth of Western Europe between 900 A. D. and 1700, provides a general theoretical framework for institutional change geared to the general reader.
North and Thomas seek to explain the "rise of the Western world" by illuminating the causal importance of an efficient economic organization that guarantees a wide latitude of property rights and both incentives and protection for economic growth. Although they pay homage to both Marxian and neoliberal theory, they take a theoretical middle ground that privileges the sociopolitical backdrop of economic affairs (as opposed to solely private or class-based activity) and in doing so identifies the roots of modernization as far back as the 10th Century. To justify the novelty and originality of this approach, they write that most analysts have misidentified the symptoms of modern economic growth (technological change, human capital, economies of scale) as the causes. In doing so, previous scholars have failed to answer the question "if all that is required for economic growth is investment and innovation, why have some societies missed this desirable outcome?" (2). Their answer is that some societies (England and the Netherlands) were better than others (France and Spain) at providing an efficient economic organization that could guarantee conditions favorable to per capita economic growth among a rapidly growing population.

    Preface;

    Part I. Theory and Overview:

  1. The issue;
  2. The overview;

    Part II. 900–1500:

  3. Property rights in land and man;
  4. Economic conditions at the end of the Early Middle Ages;
  5. The High Middle Ages: a fronier movement;
  6. Thirteenth-century Europe;
  7. The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries;

    Part III. 1500–1700:

  8. Fiscal policy and property rights;
  9. The Early Modern period;
  10. France and Spain - the also-rans;
  11. The Netherlands and successful economic growth;
  12. England; Epilogue;

    Bibliography;

    Index.


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Herschel I. Grossman
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Steven Shavell, Tanguy Ypersele
NBER Working Paper Series. 1999.  No. 6956.
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Gregory N. Mankiw
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Robert H. Frank, Ben S. Bernanke
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