July 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Posted in Books, Development, Economics, Financial, Globalization, History | Leave a comment









Growth Recurring: Economic Change in World History

E. L. Jones (Author)

Editorial Reviews


“He has supplemented his expertise in European economic history by reading widely in Asian history, ancient and modern….Jones’s style is both delightful and lapidary. He strikes innumerable sparks with challenging assertions on almost every page….His new book is as thought-provoking as The Economic Miracle–not least where it contradicts its predecessor.”–American Historical Review
“Bold and stimulating.”–Journal of Asian Studies

Product Description

This study concerns the conflict in world history between economic growth and political greed. E.L. Jones, author of the groundbreaking The European Miracle, proposes two fundamentally new frameworks. One replaces industrial revolution or great discontinuity as the source of change and challenges the reader to accept early periods and non-Western societies as vital to understanding the growth process. It shows that growth occurred independently in Sung China and Japan as well as in Europe. The second framework offers a new explanation in which tendencies for growth were omnipresent but were usually suppressed. The “obstacles to growth” and their subsequent erosion is reviewed, providing an explanation of the modern world economy in which growth has recurred and East Asia has taken a prominent place.

Product Details:

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • May 5, 1988
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198283008
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198283003

Eirc L. Jones (author of the much discusses book on The European Miracle, 1981) discusses world history from an economical perspective. By training he is an economist. The basic concepts are intensive economic growth (innovation) and extensive economic growth (more of the same). According the Jones extensive growth must develop into intensive growth at some point in time. You can only have so many workers or machines in your factory before it becomes economically useless (law of diminishing returns). China during the Sung (or Song) dynasty (960 – 1279 AD or CE) experienced extensive growth and reached unprecedented levels of economic welfare, commercialization (market economy) and consumerism. Industrial output of iron during the Sung period was not reached again until the late 18th century in Britain. But China never experienced a so called Industrial Revolution like Britain or other Western European countries. Why not? This ‘frustration’ (according to Jones) is explained by referring to values (culture), institutions (law), state action, and military conquest. This is a thought provoking book, but recent research on China (Pomeranz and Bin Wong) dismiss Jones’s answers.

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