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The Spread of Modern Industry to the Periphery since 1871$
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Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke and Jeffrey Gale Williamson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198753643

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198753643.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
The Spread of Modern Industry to the Periphery since 1871

Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke

Jeffrey Gale Williamson

Oxford University Press

The fact that modern industry originated in Britain, and spread initially to Northwest Europe and North America, implied a dramatic divergence in living standards between the industrial ‘West’ and a non-industrial ‘Rest’. This industrial divergence is visibly unravelling today, as Third World economies converge industrially on the rich economies of Europe and North America. This phenomenon has been the subject of much research. Less appreciated, however, are the deep historical roots of this convergence, and in particular of the spread of modern industry to the global periphery. This chapter provides an introduction to the book, which fills this gap by providing a systematic, comparative, historical account of the spread of modern manufacturing beyond its traditional heartland to what we call the poor periphery. The chapter highlights the roles of factor endowments, the international context, luck, and economic policy in determining the timing and extent of manufacturing growth.

Keywords:   manufacturing, technological transfer, factor endowment, globalization, economic policy, catching-up, convergence, poor periphery, economic history

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