The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics
Editor-in-Chief: Abraham, Arpad / Cavalcanti, Tiago
Ed. by Carceles-Poveda , Eva / Kambourov, Gueorgui / Lambertini, Luisa / Ruhl, Kim
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Most Downloaded Articles
- Comparing Wealth Effects: The Stock Market versus the Housing Market by Case, Karl E./ Quigley, John M. and Shiller, Robert J.
- The Effects of the Great Recession on Central Bank Doctrine and Practice by Bernanke, Ben S.
- Monetary and Macroprudential Policy Rules in a Model with House Price Booms by Kannan, Prakash/ Rabanal, Pau and Scott, Alasdair M.
- How have global shocks impacted the real effective exchange rates of individual euro area countries since the euro’s creation? by Bussiere, Matthieu/ Chudik, Alexander and Mehl, Arnaud
Was an Industrial Revolution Inevitable? Economic Growth Over the Very Long Run
1University of California, Berkeley and NBER, (email)
Citation Information: Advances in Macroeconomics. Volume 1, Issue 2, ISSN (Online) 1534-6013, DOI: 10.2202/1534-6013.1028, August 2001
- Published Online:
This paper studies a growth model that is able to match several key facts of economic history. For thousands of years, the average standard of living seems to have risen very little, despite increases in the level of technology and large increases in the level of the population. Then, after thousands of years of little change, the level of per capita consumption increased dramatically in less than two centuries. Quantitative analysis of the model highlights two factors central to understanding this history. The first is a virtuous circle: more people produce more ideas, which in turn makes additional population growth possible. The second is an improvement in institutions that promote innovation, such as property rights: the simulated economy indicates that arguably the single most important factor in the transition to modern growth has been the increase in the fraction of output paid to compensate inventors for the fruits of their labor.