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The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy

Опубликовано на портале: 06-11-2007
Изд-во: Princeton University Press, 2000, cерия "Princeton Economic History of the Western World", 392 с.
The Great Divergence brings new insight to one of the classic questions of history: Why did sustained industrial growth begin in Northwest Europe, despite surprising similarities between advanced areas of Europe and East Asia? As Ken Pomeranz shows, as recently as 1750, parallels between these two parts of the world were very high in life expectancy, consumption, product and factor markets, and the strategies of households. Perhaps most surprisingly, Pomeranz demonstrates that the Chinese and Japanese cores were no worse off ecologically than Western Europe. Core areas throughout the eighteenth-century Old World faced comparable local shortages of land-intensive products, shortages that were only partly resolved by trade. Pomeranz argues that Europe's nineteenth-century divergence from the Old World owes much to the fortunate location of coal, which substituted for timber. This made Europe's failure to use its land intensively much less of a problem, while allowing growth in energy-intensive industries. Another crucial difference that he notes has to do with trade. Fortuitous global conjunctures made the Americas a greater source of needed primary products for Europe than any Asian periphery. This allowed Northwest Europe to grow dramatically in population, specialize further in manufactures, and remove labor from the land, using increased imports rather than maximizing yields. Together, coal and the New World allowed Europe to grow along resource-intensive, labor-saving paths. Meanwhile, Asia hit a cul-de-sac. Although the East Asian hinterlands boomed after 1750, both in population and in manufacturing, this growth prevented these peripheral regions from exporting vital resources to the cloth-producing Yangzi Delta. As a result, growth in the core of East Asia's economy essentially stopped, and what growth did exist was forced along labor-intensive, resource-saving paths--paths Europe could have been forced down, too, had it not been for favorable resource stocks from underground and overseas.

Introduction. Comparisons, Connections, and Narratives of European Economic Development

  • Variations on the Eurppe-Centered Story: Demography. Ecology, and Accumulation
  • Other Europe-Centered Stories: Markets, Firms, and Institutions
  • Problems with the Europe-Centered Stories
  • Building a More Inclusive Story
  • Comparisons, Connections, and the Structure of the Argument
  • A Note on Geographic Coverage


    1. Europe before Asia? Population, Capital Accumulation, and Technology in Explanations of European Development

  • Agriculture, Transport, and Livestock Capital
  • Living Longer? Living Better?
  • Birthrates
  • Accumulation?
  • What about Technology?
    2. Market Economies in Europe and Asia
  • Land Markets and Restrictions on Land Use in China and Western Europe
  • Labor Systems
  • Migration, Markets, and Institutions
  • Markets for Farm Products
  • Rural Industry and Sideline Activities
  • Family Labor in China and Europe: "Involution" and the "Industrious Revolution"
  • Conclusion to Part 1: Multiple Cores and Shared Constraints in the Early Modem World Economy


    3. Luxury Consumption and the Rise of Capitalism

  • More and Less Ordinary Luxuries
  • Everyday Luxuries and Popular Consumption in Early Modem Europe and Asia
  • Consumer Durables and the "Objectification of Luxury
  • Exotic Goods and the Velocity of Fashion: Global Conjuncture and the Appearance of Culturally Based Economic Difference
  • Luxury Demand, Social Systems, and Capitalist Firms
  • Visible Hands: Firm Structure, Sociopolitical Structure and "Capitalism" in Europe and Asia
  • Overseas Extraction and Capital Accumulation: The Williams Thesis Revisited
  • The Importance of the Obvious: Luxury Demand, Capitalism, and New World Colonization
  • Interstate Competition, Violence, and State Systems: How They Didn't Matter and How They Did
  • Conclusion to Part 2: The Significance of Similarities and of Differences


    5. Shared Constraints: Ecological Strain in Western Europe and East Asia

  • Deforestation and Soil Depletion in China: Some Comparisons with Europe
  • Trading for Resources with Old World Peripheries: Common Patterns and Limits of Smithian Solutions to Quasi-Malthusian Problems
    6. Abolishing the Land Constraint: The Americas as a New Kind of Periphery
  • Another New World, Another Windfall: Precious Metals
  • Some Measurements of Ecological Relief: Britain in the Age of the Industrial Revolution
  • Comparisons and Calculations: What Do the Numbers Mean?
  • Beyond and Besides the Numbers
  • Into an Industrial World
  • Last Comparisons: Labor Intensity, Resources, and Industrial "Growing Up"

    Appendix A. Comparative Estimates of Land Transport Capacity per Person: Germany and North India, circa 1800
    Appendix B. Estimates of Manure Applied to North China and European Farms in the Late Eighteenth Century, and a Comparison of Resulting Nitrogen Fluxes
    Appendix C. Forest Cover and Fuel-Supply Estimates for France, Lingnan, and a Portion of North China, 1700-1850
    Appendix D. Estimates of "Ghost Acreage" Provided by Various Imports to Late Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century Britain
    Appendix E.Estimates of Earning Power of Rural Textile Workers in the Lower Yangzi Region of China, 1750-1840
    Appendix F. Estimates of Cotton and Silk Production, Lower Yangzi and China as a Whole, 1750 and Later--With Comparisons to United Kingdom, France, and Germany