Eurasia was able to produce food surpluses more than a thousand years before the Americas. Food surpluses led to specialization, which led to rapid development.
Category: technological progress
The Industrial Revolution
Britain experienced a period of rapid technological progress that forever changed the nature of work, and that allowed it to dominate markets around the world.
The Steam Engine
The steam engine powered a new generation of industrial machinery, and gave rise to modes of transportation that would stitch the world together.
Why Did the Industrial Revolution Happen in Britain in the Eighteenth Century?
The Industrial Revolution occurred because labour was expensive relative to capital and coal, making technologies that replaced labour with machines profitable.
The Division of the World
W. Arthur Lewis explained why the world divided into manufacturers and primary producers, and into prosperous temperate countries and poor tropical countries.
How Modern Science Came to China
China became aware of Western science in the sixteenth century, but did not embrace it until the Opium Wars demonstrated the West’s technological superiority.
One Hundred and Fifty Years of American Growth
American technological progress was rapid between 1920 and 1970, and slow after 1970. Why was it so rapid before 1970? Why was it so slow after 1970?
Why Nations Fail: Extractive and Inclusive Institutions
Acemoglu and Robinson argue that a country’s prosperity is determined by its political and economic institutions. Casual empiricism supports their argument.
Why Nations Fail: Theory is Tidy, History is Messy
Evidence from the Industrial Revolution does not support Acemoglu and Robinson’s claim that the transition to sustained growth always follows the same pattern.