Tag Archives: Economic History

Why The Industrial Revolution Didn’t Happen In China

Here’s a link to an interview from the Washington Post with Joel Mokyr of Northwestern University who is the author of “A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy.”

LINK: Why the Industrial Revolution didn’t happen in China

One of the primary themes of the discussion is how China chose order over competition, and, as such, lost its long held technological primacy.

The practical application of scientific knowledge, and the willingness to challenge old orders of thought, stand out as the main catalysts behind Europe’s industrial inception and advancement.

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“Those were the days my friend…” (Part 1)

“The Rise and Fall of American Growth:The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War” by Robert J. Gordon is attracting a considerable amount of attention.

I have yet to read it, but it’s on my reading list. That being said, some of the arguments within the book that the various reviewers tend to address seem far too linear. Consider the growth of a child versus that of the US economy. Certainly, there are certain major milestones that cannot be eclipsed: learning to walk (transportation innovations), learning to talk (communication innovations), toilet training (each reviewer mentions indoor plumbing…). This may be so, but is it not the things we do afterwards, when we are in possession of these fundamental skills/endowments, that start to make things truly interesting?

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