Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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p. vii

Tables

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p. ix

Figures

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p. xi

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xiv

Since World War II interest in rapid economic development and explosive population growth has moved to center stage. This book is concerned with both—where we have been and where we are going. In conception, it is in the tradition of the "new" economic history, that is, it draws on economic theory and statistics to interpret historical experience. Its primary debt, however, is to ...

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1. Historical Overview

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p. 1

Since the mid-eighteenth century the defining feature of human history has been the phenomenon of modern economic growth. In the areas where it started, such growth has raised the material living standard of the average person more than tenfold and has totally transformed everyday life. At the same time, however, the spread of modern economic growth has upset the balance of political power ...

I. Modern Economic Growth

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2. Revolution or Evolution? The Epoch of Modern Economic Growth

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pp. 15-29

A recurrent issue arising in the interpretation of the broad span of world economic history is that of evolution or revolution. One view, typified by the Marxian schema, sees marked discontinuities or what are sometimes called "regime" changes.1 The other stresses the continuity of economic change. Thus, some economic historians today dismiss concepts such as the Industrial Revolution, ...

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3. The International Impact of Modern Economic Growth

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pp. 31-44

The last chapter established the distinctive nature of the epoch of modem economic growth by comparing it with prior epochs. The next two chapters sketch some of the major characteristics, both national and international, of this epoch. The theme in both chapters is the pervasive economic, social, and political effects of modem economic growth, both within and among nations, and the ...

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4. Modern Economic Growth and the National Economy

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pp. 45-53

Modem economic growth has transformed relations within as well as among nations. In this chapter I shift from a global to a national view and identify some important ways in which human experience within societies has been trans formed since 1750 by modem economic growth. Although conditions peculiar to each nation, such as size and natural resource endowment, modify the ...

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5. Why Isn’t the Whole World Developed? Institutions and the Spread of Economic Growth

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pp. 55-65

The driving force behind the epoch of modern economic growth is an ever growing body of scientific and technological knowledge arising from a new empirical and experimental methodology, which gradually emerged with the scientific revolution. The result has been a much more rapid and sustained advance In economic theory, it is commonly assumed that new techniques will ...

II. Population Growth

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6. The Nature and Causes of the Mortality Revolution

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pp. 69-82

The driving force behind the immense expansion of world population in the last century and a half has been an unprecedented reduction in human mortality. From values of around twenty-five to forty years at birth in the mid-nineteenth century, life expectancy has soared to seventy years or more in many areas of the world today. The decrease in mortality has been accompanied by an ...

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7. Malthus Revisited: The Economic Impact of Rapid Population Growth

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pp. 83-93

The direct result of the Mortality Revolution was a marked upsurge in the rate of population growth. Abstracting from migration, the rate of population growth is determined by the excess of the birth rate over the death rate. In country after country as the Mortality Revolution brought the death rate down, the rate of population growth rose noticeably. The concern of this chapter is ...

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8. The Fertility Transition: Its Nature and Causes

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pp. 95-112

Rapid population growth is a transient state. It is transient because fertility decline follows mortality decline and eventually brings down the rate of population growth. This shift from initially high levels of mortality and fertility to eventually low levels is called by demographers the "demographic transition." This transition has already been completed by the leaders in the Mortality ...

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9. Secular Stagnation Resurrected: Population and the Economy in Developed Countries

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pp. 113-127

As the birthrate falls, so too in the course of time does the rate of population growth. In the late 1930s, as fertility and population growth in developed countries plunged to new lows, Alvin Hansen, armed with the new tools of Keynesian macroeconomic analysis, captured imaginations with his secular stagnation thesis. 1 He claimed that the essential stimulus that population growth provided ...

III. Implications for the Future

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10. Does Satisfying Material Needs Increase Human Happiness?

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pp. 131-144

The spread of modem economic growth is much to be welcomed for the accompanying rise in real income per capita means the eventual freeing of humanity from hunger, inadequate clothing, and insufficient shelter. This improvement in objective material conditions is often assumed to imply that people will also feel better off, that subjective well-being or, put simply, ...

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11. The Next Century in Historical Perspective

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pp. 145-154

The world is embarked on an irreversible process, swept up in the epoch of modem economic growth. The further unfolding of this epoch will shape the next century. This chapter takes up, first, the prospects for continued economic growth, improved life expectancy, and population growth to the middle of the twenty-first century. It then turns to some dangers along the way, and then, ...

Appendix A: Major Economic Inventions

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pp. 157-160

Appendix B: Health Technology

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pp. 161-162

Notes

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pp. 163-170

References

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pp. 171-188

Index

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pp. 189-202