On the Causes of Economic Growth: The Lessons of History

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Algora Publishing, 2008 - Business & Economics - 340 pages
What's the secret? Can policies "grow" the economy? How do leaders make their countries prosper? Since the earliest of times, humans have endeavored to uncover the causes of prosperity. Step by step, Sabillon tests the principal theories on the causes of economic growth against the facts of history. Here, for the first time, the economic statistics of the world are presented in a rationalized format that allows for an easy comparison across countries and through time, with a challenge to those who study them. What do the statistics show, and what are the trends beyond cherished theories that suit various political purposes? Tested against the historical data, textbook ideas and theories consistently come up short. Such analyses are highly troubling, because they reveal an absence of correlation between theory and reality. The data — statistics illustrating the development of the world economy during the last several centuries — was extracted from economic, history and economic history books, from publications of the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, the United Nations' specialized agencies, research institutes and country statistical publications and other books and journals. Analyzing the data over geography and time, Sabillon concludes that contrary to contemporary wisdom, left to market forces alone, the economy will not and does not flourish. Only decisive intervention in support of manufacturing and technological advancement can provide growth. This systematic review of history and test of accepted dogma challenges economic theorists to consider one part of the equation of economic policy that has been wiped off the blackboard in today's politically-correct debates.
 

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Contents

Preface
1
Introduction
3
Chapter 1 From Antiquity to the 15th Century
15
Chapter 2 The 16th Century
37
Chapter 3 The 17th Century
53
Chapter 4 The 18th Century
75
Chapter 5 The First Half of the 19th Century
103
Chapter 6 The Second Half of the 19th Century in the United States Germany and Russia
135
Chapter 8 The First Half of the 20th Century in East Asia
195
Chapter 9 The First Half of the 20th Century in Germany and Russia
219
Chapter 10 The First Half of the 20th Century in the United States of America and Great Britain
251
Conclusion
289
Appendix
293
Tables
295
References
309
Copyright

Chapter 7 The Second Half of the 19th Century in Japan Britain China and the Newly Industrialized Countries
167

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About the author (2008)

Economist, Honduran Ministry of Finance; consultant to Honduran Central Bank.

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