Scheidel W. (2005) Economics of slavery in the Greco-Roman world

December 16, 2007

Scheidel Walter 2005 ‘The comparative economics of slavery in the Greco-Roman world’, Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics, Nov. ’05, 21p.

Large scale slavery occurs rarely in history, Ancient Greece and Italy are exceptions. Why? The slave population in Athens and Rome can be very roughly estimated at about a third of the total, a proportion consistent with the one of ante bellum Southern USA (2). Read the rest of this entry »

Smith T. C. (1973) Pre-modern economic growth: Japan and the West

December 9, 2007

SMITH Thomas C. (1973) “Pre-Modern Economic Growth: Japan and the West”, Past and Present, 60, 127-160.

Definition of “pre-modern growth”

The income per capita advantage enjoyed before the Industrial Revolution (IR) by subsequently first-world developed countries (Europe, its offshoots and Japan). Meaning that income level before IR would be a proxy of incomes level in 1973. Read the rest of this entry »

O’Brien P. (1982) The contribution of intercontinental trade to Europe’s expansion

December 2, 2007

O’Brien Patrick (1982) “European Economic Development: The Contribution of the Periphery”, The Economic History Review, 35/1, 1-18.

According to development historians of the 1970s (Wallerstein) the causes of the non-western world backwardness after 1800 is to be found in the previous period (1450-1750) which saw the mercantile rise of capitalistic Europe. According to them, peripheries maintained labour control (slavery, serfdom) and were trapped in an unequal exchange with the core. Meanwhile Western Europe could develop a freer and more advanced economy thanks to the plunder of the peripheries (2).
Although he acknowledges the importance of having a global approach of every country’s history, he also dismisses the importance of intercontinental trade for the rise of the West (3).
Read the rest of this entry »