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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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How Peripheral was the Periphery?

How Peripheral was the Periphery?

Industrialization in East Central Europe since 1870

(p.63) 4 How Peripheral was the Periphery?
The Spread of Modern Industry to the Periphery since 1871

Alexander Klein

Max-Stephan Schulze

Tamás Vonyó

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the timing, pace, and spatial diffusion of modern industry in the former Habsburg Empire and its successor states. The regions adjacent to Western Europe, Alpine Austria, and the Czech lands shifted from proto-industrial to modern manufacturing first, followed by the western parts of Hungary. Though well advanced in the western and northwestern regions, industry diffused only slowly to the east and southeast, with profound implications for East Central European economies throughout the twentieth century. It is argued that this part of Europe stepped into the industrial age before most of the global periphery; that economic growth was mainly driven by industry from the late nineteenth century to the collapse of state socialism; and that the contribution of industry to aggregate value added was associated with a growing share of ‘modern’ manufacturing in industrial production. However, post-war interventionist policies failed to erase relative backwardness in East Central Europe.

Keywords:   Habsburg Empire, manufacturing, economic geography, state socialism, regional inequality, economic policy, economic history

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