The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor by David S. LandesGoodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover.
The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor
In it, Landes elucidates the reasons why some countries and regions of the world experienced near miraculous periods of explosive growth while the rest of the world stagnated. He does this by comparing the long-term economic histories of different regions of the world, giving priority to Europe and the United States, as well as Japan , China , the Arab world , and Latin America. In addition to analyzing economic and cliometric figures, he gives substantial credit to such intangible assets as culture and enterprise in the different societies he examines in order to explain economic success or failure. In The Wealth and Poverty of Nations , Landes revives, at least in part, several theories he believes have been incorrectly discarded by academics over the previous forty years:. He also spends a good deal of effort to debunk claims that the Asian miracle did not happen, was not significant, or was financed by European colonialism , and he draws a correlation between the economic level of a country and the way it treats its women. In short, he argues that the vast economic growth of the Industrial Revolution was no accident but instead resulted from several qualities of Europe, including its climate, political competition, economic freedom and attitude towards science and religion, more specifically from certain countries in Western Europe, primarily England. Critics have charged Landes with eurocentrism in his analysis, a charge which Landes himself does not deny; in fact, he embraces it explicitly, arguing that an explanation for an economic miracle that happened originally only in Europe though he deals with the later ' Asian miracle ' in Wealth and Poverty must of necessity be a Eurocentric analysis, thus siding at least at some level with thinkers such as Bernard Lewis.
David S. New York: W. Norton, Reviewed for EH. NET by J. David Landes has studied the history of economic development for more than half a century.
About the Author
After an early start in led by Dan Segal, H-WORLD is now ready to make the effort to commission and post reviews of significant books in global history, from a global perspective. Professor Frank has been communicating with Professor Landes about making this a dialogue and we welcome and will publish a response from Professor Landes in the hopes of making this a better dialogue. Indeed, "Landes does not try to understand this history European economic history Nothing else matters much to him.
The transition made possible the human population explosion, the rise of non-food-producing specialists, and the acceleration of technological progress that led eventually to the industrial revolution. But the transition occurred at different times in different regions of the world, with big consequences for the present-day economic conditions of populations indigenous to each region. In this article, we show that differences in biogeographic initial conditions and in geography largely account for the different timings of the Neolithic transition and, thereby, ultimately help account for the fold differences among the prosperity of nations today. The effects of biogeography and geography on the wealth of nations are partly mediated by the quality of present-day institutions but also are partly independent of institutional quality. The prosperity of nations varies enormously. How can this large variation in the wealth of nations be explained? Traditionally, economists emphasize the accumulation of human and physical capital and successful adoption of state-of-the-art technologies as the main explanations of variation in economic productivity 1.