An Economic History of Europe: Knowledge, Institutions and Growth, 600 to the Present

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Overview

"This concise and accessible introduction to European economic history focusses on the interplay between the development of institutions and the generation and diffusion of knowledge-based technologies. The author challenges the view that European economic history before the Industrial Revolution was constrained by population growth outstripping available resources. He argues instead that the limiting factor was the knowledge needed for technological progress but also that Europe was unique in developing a scientific culture and institutions which were the basis for the unprecedented technological progress and economic growth of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Simple explanatory concepts are used to explain growth and stagnation as well as the convergence of income over time whilst text boxes, figures, an extensive glossary and online exercises enable students to develop a comprehensive understanding of the subject. This is the only textbook students will need to understand Europe's unique economic development and its global context"--Provided by publisher.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Elegant, lean and beautifully written, An Economic History of Europe is clearly the best European economic history textbook on the market. The economic development ideas are modern and the evolution of the European economy exciting in Karl Gunnar Persson’s masterful hands." -Jeffrey G. Williamson, Laird Bell Professor of Economics, Emeritus, Harvard University, and Honorary Fellow, Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"How did Europe succeed in transforming itself from an under-populated backwater in c.800 to one of the most prosperous regions of the world? The author tackles this key question with a skillful combination of description of the main trends and simple but enlightening economic reasoning. This book will become the standard introduction to European economic history for both university students and the general public." -Giovanni Federico, European University Institute, Florence

"Persson has written a lively, intelligent, and concise European economic history. Students will appreciate the use of simple but effective economic reasoning and his talent for explaining complex issues in clear terms without over-simplification. I heartily recommend An Economic History of Europe to those teaching European economic history." -Timothy Guinnane, Philip Golden Bartlett Professor of Economic History, Yale University

"Karl Gunnar Persson’s latest book is a first: an accessible and concise economic history of Europe since the Dark Ages by an eminent economist-cum-economic historian. Highlights include Persson’s thirteen ‘propositions’ (or lessons from history), a narrative that is highly readable throughout, and a judicious and student-friendly blend of theory and history." -Cormac Ó Gráda, University College Dublin

"Anyone looking for a quick guide to the subject can profit by starting here. Equally, any teacher of the subject will want it on their reading list, and students have ready access to an admirable survey. It is highly recommended." -History, Forrest Capie

"For a short book, the range of economic issues covered is remarkably comprehensive. The book is also commendable in considering economic factors relating to Europe as a whole rather than, as is more common, breaking the analysis down into national units." -European History Quarterly

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Karl Gunnar Persson is Emeritus Professor at the Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen and has taught comparative economic history and globalization studies over five decades. He has published widely in the leading economic history journals and was the founding editor of European Review of Economic History. His previous monographs include Pre-Industrial Economic Growth: Social Organization and Technological Progression in Europe (1988) and Grain Markets in Europe, 1500–1900: Integration and Deregulation. Educated in Sweden, he is a member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences.

Paul Sharp has been an Associate Professor at the Department of Business and Economics at the University of Southern Denmark since 2012. He completed his PhD in economics at the University of Copenhagen in 2009, after studying at King's College London and the University of Copenhagen. The main focus of his work is on economic and agricultural history and he is currently working on a co-authored book on the early history of the Danish dairy industry. He has published widely in economics, history, and economic history journals.

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Table of Contents

Part I. The Making of Europe; Part II. Europe from Obscurity to Economic Recovery; Part III. Population, Economic Growth and Resource Constraints; Part IV. The Nature and Extent of Economic Growth in the Pre-Industrial Epoch; Part V. Institutions and Growth; Part VI. Knowledge, Technology Transfer and Convergence; Part VII. Money, Credit and Banking; Part VIII. Trade, Tariffs and Growth; Part IX. International Monetary Regimes in History; Part X. The Era of Political Economy - from the Minimal State to the Welfare State in the Twentieth Century; Part XI. Inequality among and within Nations - Past, Present, Future; Part XII. Globalization and its Challenge to Europe.
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