Economics and World History: Myths and Paradoxes
Paul Bairoch deflates twenty commonly held myths about economic history. Among these myths are that free trade and population growth have historically led to periods of economic growth, and that colonial powers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries became rich through the exploitation of the Third World. Bairoch shows that these beliefs are based on insufficient knowledge and wrong interpretations of the history of economies of the United States, Europe, and the Third World, and he re-examines the facts to set the record straight. Bairoch argues that until the early 1960s, the history of international trade of the developed countries was almost entirely one of protectionism rather than a "Golden Era" of free trade, and he reveals that, in fact, past periods of economic growth in the Western World correlated strongly with protectionist policy. He also demonstrates that developed countries did not exploit the Third World for raw materials during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as some economists and many politicians have held. Among the many other myths that Bairoch debunks are beliefs about whether colonization triggered the Industrial Revolution, the effects of the economic development of the West on the Third World, and beliefs about the 1929 crash and the Great Depression. Bairoch's lucid prose makes the book equally accessible to economists of every stripe, as well as to historians, political scientists, and other social scientists.
Part I Major Myths About the Developed World
Part II Major Myths on the Role of the Third World in Western Development
Part III Major Myths About the Third World
Part IV Minor Myths and Unnoticed Turning Points
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Africa agricultural products annual growth rate average Bairoch Britain British capita GNP cereals Chapter China coal colonial commercial policy compared consumption Continental Europe Corn Laws cotton decline deficit depression developed world economic development economic growth Economic History economists Empire especially estimate European countries excluding fact factors figures foreign trade France free trade future developed countries future Third World Germany global GNP per capita higher implies import duties Industrial Revolution international trade Japan Latin America League of Nations less liberal major million tons negative nineteenth century Ottoman Empire period petroleum population growth probably protectionism protectionist raw materials regions represented result role sectors share situation Statistics sugar Table terms of trade textile Third World market total exports Trade balance trade policy trend tropical turning point underdevelopment unemployment United Kingdom urbanization various issues volume Western developed countries Western Europe World market economies World War II