Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD: Essays in Macro-Economic History Angus Maddison【简介_书评_在线阅读-pdf mobi epub】中英文
Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD: Essays in Macro-Economic History
A useful set of essays from the distinguished economic historian Angus Maddison. The best parts of this book are the numerous data tables and charts examining various aspects of economic history. Included are essays on the demography and economy of the Roman empire, the revival of the Western European economy in the age of mercantile capitalism, the effects of expanding trade with Europe on Asia, Africa, and the Western Hemisphere, an assessment of the sources of the industrial revolution, an essay on pioneers in demography and accounting for national economic activity, and some projections for the future. Each essay, except the one on the early British pioneers of demography and national economic accounting, are essentially a concise text built around presentation of data on demography, economic activity, trade, etc. A great deal of this data is quite valuable. Estimates of population and trade in the Roman empire, the magnitude of the African slave trades across the Atlantic and to the Moslem world, the amount of silver transferred from Europe (originally from the Western Hemisphere), and many other important features of world economic history are included. These datasets are fascinating reading. The accompanying texts are a bit uneven. Generally, these are solid descriptions of major trends and facts but Maddison is not always a careful writer and some of his facts are wrong. The description of the Roman army, for example, is the army of the late Republic and early Principate, not the army of the later Roman Empire. Another example would be his underestimate of the number of deaths associated with the failure of the coup attempt in mid-1960s Indonesia. In some of his discussions of controversial issues, such as the origins of the industrial revolution, I\'m not sure he is fair to some of the people he criticizes and he may exaggerate the differences between western Europe and China in some respects. His discussion of global warming is relatively superficial and he gives too much weight to skepticism about IPCC estimates of CO2 release and its probable effects. In fact, these estimates have been generally conservative underestimates. For a recent concise overview of this topic, see the recent article by James McCarthy in Science and for a good discussion of the economics, see the recent book by Nicholas Stern.
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