Mixed Fortunes: An Economic History of China, Russia, and the West

Mixed Fortunes: An Economic History of China, Russia, and the West

by Vladimir Popov


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Mixed Fortunes: An Economic History of China, Russia, and the West by Vladimir Popov

The rise of the West is often attributed the presence of certain features in Western countries from the 16th century that were absent in more traditional societies: the abolition of serfdom and Protestant ethics, the protection of property rights, and free universities. The problem with this reasoning is that, before the 16th century, there were many countries with social structures that possessed these same features that didn't experience rapid productivity growth.

This book offers a new interpretation of the 'Great Divergence' and 'Great Convergence' stories. It explores how Western countries grew rich and why parts of the developing world (South and East Asia and the Middle East) did not catch up with the West from 1500 to 1950 but began to narrow the gap after 1950. It also examines why others (Latin America, South Africa, and Russia) were more successful at catching up from 1500 to 1950, but then experienced a slowdown in economic growth compared to other developing countries. Mixed Fortunes offers a novel interpretation of the rise of the West and of the subsequent development of 'the rest' and China and Russia, important examples of two groups of developing countries, are examined in greater detail.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780198703631
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 06/17/2014
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Vladimir Popov is an interregional adviser in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations and professor emeritus at the New Economic School in Moscow. He is also professor at the Graduate School of International Business at the Russian Presidential Academy of the National Economy and Public Administration in Moscow, and an adjunct research professor at the Institute of European and Russian Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. He has written extensively on various issues of the economics of development and transition. He is the author and editor of 11 books and numerous articles that have been published in the Journal of Comparative Economics, Comparative Economic Studies, World Development, Post-Communist Economies, New Left Review, and other academic journals, as well as many essays in the media. His works have been published in Chinese, English, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.

Table of Contents

1. How the West became Rich: Stylized Facts and Literature Review
2. Why Did the West Become Rich First? Why Are Some Developing Countries Catching Up But Others Are Not?
3. Chinese and Russian Economies Under Central Planning: Why the Difference in Outcomes?
4. Chinese and Russian Economies Since Reforms: Transformational Recession in Russia and Acceleration of Growth in China
5. Growth Miracles and Failures: Lessons for Development Economics

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