The Lever Of Riches

Autor: Joel Mokyr
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019987946X
File Size: 21,41 MB
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In a world of supercomputers, genetic engineering, and fiber optics, technological creativity is ever more the key to economic success. But why are some nations more creative than others, and why do some highly innovative societies--such as ancient China, or Britain in the industrial revolution--pass into stagnation? Beginning with a fascinating, concise history of technological progress, Mokyr sets the background for his analysis by tracing the major inventions and innovations that have transformed society since ancient Greece and Rome. What emerges from this survey is often surprising: the classical world, for instance, was largely barren of new technology, the relatively backward society of medieval Europe bristled with inventions, and the period between the Reformation and the Industrial Revolution was one of slow and unspectacular progress in technology, despite the tumultuous developments associated with the Voyages of Discovery and the Scientific Revolution. What were the causes of technological creativity? Mokyr distinguishes between the relationship of inventors and their physical environment--which determined their willingness to challenge nature--and the social environment, which determined the openness to new ideas. He discusses a long list of such factors, showing how they interact to help or hinder a nation's creativity, and then illustrates them by a number of detailed comparative studies, examining the differences between Europe and China, between classical antiquity and medieval Europe, and between Britain and the rest of Europe during the industrial revolution. He examines such aspects as the role of the state (the Chinese gave up a millennium-wide lead in shipping to the Europeans, for example, when an Emperor banned large ocean-going vessels), the impact of science, as well as religion, politics, and even nutrition. He questions the importance of such commonly-cited factors as the spill-over benefits of war, the abundance of natural resources, life expectancy, and labor costs. Today, an ever greater number of industrial economies are competing in the global market, locked in a struggle that revolves around technological ingenuity. The Lever of Riches, with its keen analysis derived from a sweeping survey of creativity throughout history, offers telling insights into the question of how Western economies can maintain, and developing nations can unlock, their creative potential.

A Culture Of Growth

Autor: Joel Mokyr
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400882915
File Size: 52,78 MB
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During the late eighteenth century, innovations in Europe triggered the Industrial Revolution and the sustained economic progress that spread across the globe. While much has been made of the details of the Industrial Revolution, what remains a mystery is why it took place at all. Why did this revolution begin in the West and not elsewhere, and why did it continue, leading to today's unprecedented prosperity? In this groundbreaking book, celebrated economic historian Joel Mokyr argues that a culture of growth specific to early modern Europe and the European Enlightenment laid the foundations for the scientific advances and pioneering inventions that would instigate explosive technological and economic development. Bringing together economics, the history of science and technology, and models of cultural evolution, Mokyr demonstrates that culture—the beliefs, values, and preferences in society that are capable of changing behavior—was a deciding factor in societal transformations. Mokyr looks at the period 1500–1700 to show that a politically fragmented Europe fostered a competitive "market for ideas" and a willingness to investigate the secrets of nature. At the same time, a transnational community of brilliant thinkers known as the “Republic of Letters” freely circulated and distributed ideas and writings. This political fragmentation and the supportive intellectual environment explain how the Industrial Revolution happened in Europe but not China, despite similar levels of technology and intellectual activity. In Europe, heterodox and creative thinkers could find sanctuary in other countries and spread their thinking across borders. In contrast, China’s version of the Enlightenment remained controlled by the ruling elite. Combining ideas from economics and cultural evolution, A Culture of Growth provides startling reasons for why the foundations of our modern economy were laid in the mere two centuries between Columbus and Newton.

Why Ireland Starved

Autor: Joel Mokyr
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136599592
File Size: 44,35 MB
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Technical changes in the first half of the nineteenth century led to unprecedented economic growth and capital formation throughout Western Europe; and yet Ireland hardly participated in this process at all. While the Northern Atlantic Economy prospered, the Great Irish Famine of 1845–50 killed a million and a half people and caused hundreds of thousands to flee the country. Why the Irish economy failed to grow, and ‘why Ireland starved’ remains an unresolved riddle of economic history. Professor Mokyr maintains that the ‘Hungry Forties’ were caused by the overall underdevelopment of the economy during the decades which preceded the famine. In Why Ireland Starved he tests various hypotheses that have been put forward to account for this backwardness. He dismisses widespread arguments that Irish poverty can be explained in terms of over-population, an evil land system or malicious exploitation by the British. Instead, he argues that the causes have to be sought in the low productivity of labor and the insufficient formation of physical capital – results of the peculiar political and social structure of Ireland, continuous conflicts between landlords and tenants, and the rigidity of Irish economic institutions. Mokyr’s methodology is rigorous and quantitative, in the tradition of the New Economic History. It sets out to test hypotheses about the causal connections between economic and non-economic phenomena. Irish history is often heavily coloured by political convictions: of Dutch-Jewish origin, trained in Israel and working in the United States. Mokyr brings to this controversial field not only wide research experience but also impartiality and scientific objectivity. The book is primarily aimed at numerate economic historians, historical demographers, economists specializing in agricultural economics and economic development and specialists in Irish and British nineteenth-century history. The text is, nonetheless, free of technical jargon, with the more complex material relegated to appendixes. Mokyr’s line of reasoning is transparent and has been easily accessible and useful to readers without graduate training in economic theory and econometrics since ists first publication in 1983.

The Oxford Encyclopedia Of Economic History

Autor: Joel Mokyr
Publisher:
ISBN: 0195105079
File Size: 29,26 MB
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What were the economic roots of modern industrialism? Were labor unions ever effective in raising workers' living standards? Did high levels of taxation in the past normally lead to economic decline? These and similar questions profoundly inform a wide range of intertwined social issues whose complexity, scope, and depth become fully evident in the Encyclopedia. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the field, the Encyclopedia is divided not only by chronological and geographic boundaries, but also by related subfields such as agricultural history, demographic history, business history, and the histories of technology, migration, and transportation. The articles, all written and signed by international contributors, include scholars from Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Covering economic history in all areas of the world and segments of ecnomies from prehistoric times to the present, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History is the ideal resource for students, economists, and general readers, offering a unique glimpse into this integral part of world history.

Rulers Religion And Riches

Autor: Jared Rubin
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 110703681X
File Size: 53,69 MB
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For centuries following the spread of Islam, the Middle East was far ahead of Europe. Yet, the modern economy was born in Europe. Why was it not born in the Middle East? In this book Jared Rubin examines the role that Islam played in this reversal of fortunes. It argues that the religion itself is not to blame; the importance of religious legitimacy in Middle Eastern politics was the primary culprit. Muslim religious authorities were given an important seat at the political bargaining table, which they used to block important advancements such as the printing press and lending at interest. In Europe, however, the Church played a weaker role in legitimizing rule, especially where Protestantism spread (indeed, the Reformation was successful due to the spread of printing, which was blocked in the Middle East). It was precisely in those Protestant nations, especially England and the Dutch Republic, where the modern economy was born.

A Concise Economic History Of The World

Autor: Rondo E. Cameron
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780195074451
File Size: 28,55 MB
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This classic book offers a broad sweep of economic history from prehistoric times to the present, and explores the disparity of wealth among nations. Now in its fourth edition, A Concise Economic History of the World includes expanded coverage of recent developments in the European Union, transition economies, and East Asia.

The British Industrial Revolution

Autor: Joel Mokyr
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0429974191
File Size: 73,51 MB
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The Industrial Revolution remains a defining moment in the economic history of the modern world. But what kind and how much of a revolution was it? And what kind of ?moment? could it have been? These are just some of the larger questions among the many that economic historians continue to debate. Addressing the various interpretations and assumptions that have been attached to the concept of the Industrial Revolution, Joel Mokyr and his four distinguished contributors present and defend their views on essential aspects of the Industrial Revolution. In this revised edition, all chapters?including Mokyr's extensive introductory survey and evaluation of research in this field?are updated to consider arguments and findings advanced since the volume's initial 1993 publication. Like its predecessor, the revised edition of The British Industrial Revolution is an essential book for economic historians and, indeed, for any historian of Great Britain in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

The Gifts Of Athena

Autor: Joel Mokyr
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400829437
File Size: 64,94 MB
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The growth of technological and scientific knowledge in the past two centuries has been the overriding dynamic element in the economic and social history of the world. Its result is now often called the knowledge economy. But what are the historical origins of this revolution and what have been its mechanisms? In The Gifts of Athena, Joel Mokyr constructs an original framework to analyze the concept of "useful" knowledge. He argues that the growth explosion in the modern West in the past two centuries was driven not just by the appearance of new technological ideas but also by the improved access to these ideas in society at large--as made possible by social networks comprising universities, publishers, professional sciences, and kindred institutions. Through a wealth of historical evidence set in clear and lively prose, he shows that changes in the intellectual and social environment and the institutional background in which knowledge was generated and disseminated brought about the Industrial Revolution, followed by sustained economic growth and continuing technological change. Mokyr draws a link between intellectual forces such as the European enlightenment and subsequent economic changes of the nineteenth century, and follows their development into the twentieth century. He further explores some of the key implications of the knowledge revolution. Among these is the rise and fall of the "factory system" as an organizing principle of modern economic organization. He analyzes the impact of this revolution on information technology and communications as well as on the public's state of health and the structure of households. By examining the social and political roots of resistance to new knowledge, Mokyr also links growth in knowledge to political economy and connects the economic history of technology to the New Institutional Economics. The Gifts of Athena provides crucial insights into a matter of fundamental concern to a range of disciplines including economics, economic history, political economy, the history of technology, and the history of science.

A Nation Of Steel

Autor: Thomas J. Misa
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801860522
File Size: 33,74 MB
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"In what will surely become a standard history of steelmaking, Misa integrates that industry's development with the industrial growth of America in the half-century following the Civil War." -- Science, Technology and Society