The Nature and Causes of Economic Growth, 1850–1913
From just after 1815 until the First World War, the countries of western Europe experienced unprecedented changes in their economies that both contributed to and reflected their industrialization, which also occurred in this period. By 1914, with the exception of Spain, southern Italy and parts of the Balkans, the entire Continent was experiencing what Kuznets calls ‘modern economic growth’ — that is, ‘a sustained increase in per capita or per worker product’ (Kuznets, 1966, p. 1). It is one of the fundamental propositions of this volume that the arrival of modern economic growth in each of these countries within a generation or so of one another is not coincidental. In fact, the economic agents in each country conducted real and financial transactions that built unbreakable economic ties that benefited most economic groups. The resulting integration was driven by trade, real capital flows, migration, technology transfers and the growth of the international financial community, just as it is in the mid-1990s.
KeywordsEconomic Growth European Economy Late Nineteenth Century Neoclassical Model Capita Growth Rate
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