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Living Standards in the Past
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Living Standards in the Past: New Perspectives on Well-Being in Asia and Europe

Robert C. Allen, Tommy Bengtsson, and Martin Dribe


The main concern of this book is to determine when the gap in living standards between the East and the West emerged. Why did Europe experience industrialization and modern economic growth before China, India, or Japan? This is one of the most fundamental questions in Economic history and one that has provoked intense debate. The established view, dating back to Adam Smith, is that the gap emerged long before the industrial revolution.

Keywords: Adam Smith, demographic indicators, seventeenth century economics, eighteenth century economics, Eastern economics, Western economics, economic stress, demographic vulnerability, living standards

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2005 Print ISBN-13: 9780199280681
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005 DOI:10.1093/0199280681.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robert C. Allen, editor
Professor of Economic History, University of Oxford
Author Webpage

Tommy Bengtsson, editor
Professor of Demography and Economic History, Lund University
Author Webpage

Martin Dribe, editor
Associate Professor of Economic History, Lund University



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