• Bart van Ark
  • Simon K. Kuipers
  • Gerard H. Kuper


During the past two centuries the world economy has experienced unprecedented growth. Between 1820 and 1997, the world’s Gross Domestic Product in constant prices has increased by about 2.2 per cent per year on average, which is between six and seven times more than the world growth rate during the preceding period, 1500 to 1820 (Maddison, 1995). However, the fortunes of growth have been distributed unequally over time as well over space. In most regions of the world economy growth rates of GDP accelerated since 1870 and once again since 1950. However, in terms of living standards countries have benefitted to different degrees given the large differences in population growth rates. As a consequence income per head of the population in Northwest Europe, North America and Japan has increased much faster than in the rest of the world, although some countries and regions in other parts of the world have shown remarkable capability to catch up for at least some periods of time. Since the mid 1970s growth of the world economy has slowed down, even though the overall growth rate is still considerably higher than before 1950. Most recently, signs of a new phase of growth acceleration in the United States have been related to the success of information and communication technologies as a source of growth (Oliner and Sichel, 2000; Jorgenson and Stiroh, 2000).


Economic Growth Human Capital Technological Change Productivity Growth Total Factor Productivity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bart van Ark
    • 1
  • Simon K. Kuipers
    • 1
  • Gerard H. Kuper
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of GroningenNetherlands

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