The Rise of the Western World: A New Economic History

The Rise of the Western World A New Economic History A radically new interpretation offering a unified explanation for the growth of Western Europe between A D and provides a general theoretical framework for institutional change geared to th

  • Title: The Rise of the Western World: A New Economic History
  • Author: Douglass C. North R.P. Thomas
  • ISBN: 9780521290999
  • Page: 434
  • Format: Paperback
  • A radically new interpretation, offering a unified explanation for the growth of Western Europe between 900 A D and 1700, provides a general theoretical framework for institutional change geared to the general reader.

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      Posted by:Douglass C. North R.P. Thomas
      Published :2019-02-24T17:46:40+00:00

    1 thought on “The Rise of the Western World: A New Economic History”

    1. This is a classic work in IPE. It is an economic perspective on the rise of Western Civilization, as opposed to a history of ideas, which is usually where theories of Western Civilization start. North and Thomas' basic contention is that changes in economic conditions, beginning in the 16th century allowed Britain and Netherlands to break free of the Malthusian cycle. It was economics that changed ideas and institutions, not the other way around. The real answer is that they co-evolved. By hey, [...]

    2. Interesting historical presentation, fettered in its analysis by a frustratingly doctrinaire neoclassical framework.North and Thomas undertake to explain the emergence of an efficiently organized “market economy” which is the condition of possibility for what they call “sustained growth” in Western Europe. The emergence of “the market” is here presented as a more or less linear progression, at times fettered by the meddling of otherwise exogenous political actors. But this kind of an [...]

    3. "The affluence of Western man is a new and unique phenomenon." (1)"Efficient economic organization is the key to growth; the development of an efficient economic organization in Western Europe accounts for the rise of the West. Efficient organization entails the establishment of institutional arrangements and property rights that create an incentive to channel individual economic effort into economic activities that bring the private rate of return close to the social rate of return." (1)

    4. Wow, no wonder he got the nobel prize. I can't believe some of the stuff people study! This is an economics classic. For good reason, too. North shows through the history of Western Europe how institutions and property rights, as well as the adoptive nature of England, led to the growth of the West from 1000 AD on up to 1800s. It is a thick book and takes a bit of reading, but has some wonderful economic insights as we look to expand the macroeconomics theory into helping other countries grow.

    5. It takes quite an effort to process all the ideas in this book. The first several chapters and the later section(the comparison between Netherlands, England, Spain and France) are relatively easy to follow through, yet the middle section is quite messy. An original, and important book for anyone interested in the new institutional economy. But I would not commend it to any beginner in Economics.

    6. North argues that the sudden rise of affluence of western man resulted from efficient organization of western European institutions (which McCloskey strenuously disagrees with). Along the way, he provides a very good explanation of the emergence of property rights and the changes in economic conditions from 900 to 1500.

    7. Although there is definitely some handwaving involved, overall a good historical overview of how important institutions were in the rise of the West.

    8. The establishment of demesne property right is the root cause of the rise of the western world, and it also can be regarded as an answer to the Needham Puzzle.

    9. One of the very few books from my seminar on international political economy that I found truly readable and enjoyable.

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