When and why did economies achieve sustained growth?

For most of history economies did not see growth in output per capita - it fluctuated, but there was no distinct trend. That changed around …. well, it depends on what country we’re talking about and who you ask … but let’s say somewhere between 1600 and today. This topic is mainly about stories for the takeoff to sustained growth in England and the rest of the western economies, including debates on the timing and on the reasons: institutions, technology, culture, geography, dumb luck.

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  1. 2018.   Gouel, Christophe and Guimbard, Houssein.   "Nutrition Transition and the Structure of Global Food Demand".   American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 101(2):383-403.   Link
  2. 2017.   Tom Vogl.   "Aggregating the Fertility Transition, Intergenerational Dynamics in Quality and Quantity". National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc   Link
  3. 2017.   Thomas Barnebeck Andersen and Jeanet Bentzen and Carl‐Johan Dalgaard and Paul Sharp.   "Pre‐reformation Roots of the Protestant Ethic".   Economic Journal, 127(604):1756-1793.   Link
  4. 2017.   Stephen Broadberry and John Joseph Wallis.   "Growing, Shrinking, and Long Run Economic Performance, Historical Perspectives on Economic Development". National Bureau of Economic Research   Link
  5. 2016.   Patrick Wallis and Justin Colson and David Chilosi.   "Puncturing the Malthus delusion, structural change in the British economy before the industrial revolution, 1500-1800". London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History   Link
  6. 2016.   Tom S. Vogl.   "Differential Fertility, Human Capital, and Development".   Review of Economic Studies, 83(1):365-401.   Link
  7. 2016.   Remi Jedwab and Alexander Moradi.   "The Permanent Effects of Transportation Revolutions in Poor Countries, Evidence from Africa".   The Review of Economics and Statistics, 98(2):268-284.   Link
  8. 2015.   Wahl, Fabian.   "The long shadow of history, Roman legacy and economic development - evidence from the German limes". University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences   Link
  9. 2015.   Patrick O'Brien and Kent Deng.   "Locating a chronology for the great divergence, a critical survey of published data deployed for the measurement of nominal wages for Ming and Qing China". London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History   Link
  10. 2015.   Nils-Petter Lagerl{\"o}f.   "Malthus in Sweden".   Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 117(4):1091-1133.   Link
  11. 2015.   Matteo Cervellati and Uwe Sunde.   "The Economic and Demographic Transition, Mortality, and Comparative Development".   American Economic Journal, Macroeconomics, 7(3):189-225.   Link
  12. 2015.   Paolo Buonanno and Ruben Durante and Giovanni Prarolo and Paolo Vanin.   "Poor Institutions, Rich Mines, Resource Curse in the Origins of the Sicilian Mafia".   Economic Journal, 125(586):175-202.   Link
  13. 2014.   Morgan Kelly and Cormac {{\'O} Gr{\'a}da.   "Living standards and mortality since the middle ages".   Economic History Review, 67(2):358-381.   Link
  14. 2014.   Pauline Grosjean.   "A History Of Violence, The Culture Of Honor And Homicide In The Us South".   Journal of the European Economic Association, 12(5):1285-1316.   Link
  15. 2014.   Jutta Bolt and Jan Luiten van Zanden.   "The Maddison Project, collaborative research on historical national accounts".   Economic History Review, 67(3):627-651.
  16. 2014.   Daron Acemoglu and Tristan Reed and James A. Robinson.   "Chiefs, Economic Development and Elite Control of Civil Society in Sierra Leone".   Journal of Political Economy, 122(2):319-368.   Link
  17. 2013.   Nico Voigtl{\"a}nder and Hans-Joachim Voth.   "How the West "Invented" Fertility Restriction".   American Economic Review, 103(6):2227-64.   Link
  18. 2013.   Nico Voigtl{\"a}nder and Hans-Joachim Voth.   "The Three Horsemen of Riches, Plague, War, and Urbanization in Early Modern Europe".   Review of Economic Studies, 80(2):774-811.
  19. 2013.   Peer Vries.   Escaping Poverty, The Origins of Modern Economic Growth. Vienna University Press
  20. 2013.   Enrico Spolaore and Romain Wacziarg.   "How Deep Are the Roots of Economic Development?".   Journal of Economic Literature, 51(2):325-369.   Link
  21. 2013.   Debin Ma.   "State capacity and great divergence, the case of Qing China (1644--1911)".   Eurasian Geography and Economics, 54(5-6):484-499.   Link
  22. 2013.   Eduardo Cavallo and Sebastian Galiani and Ilan Noy and Juan Pantano.   "Catastrophic Natural Disasters and Economic Growth".   The Review of Economics and Statistics, 95(5):1549-1561.   Link
  23. 2012.   Sharp, Paul and Strulik, Holger and Weisdorf, Jacob.   "The determinants of income in a Malthusian equilibrium".   Journal of Development Economics, 97(1):112-117.   Link
  24. 2012.   Kelly, Morgan and {{\'O} Gr{\'a}da}, Cormac.   "The Preventive Check in Medieval and Preindustrial England".   The Journal of Economic History, 72(04):1015-1035.   Link
  25. 2012.   Oded Galor.   "The demographic transition, causes and consequences".   Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, 6(1):1-28.   Link
  26. 2012.   Frankema, Ewout and Waijenburg, Marlous Van.   "Structural Impediments to African Growth? New Evidence from Real Wages in British Africa, 1880-1965".   The Journal of Economic History, 72(04):895-926.   Link
  27. 2012.   Thomas Barnebeck Andersen and Jeanet Bentzen and Carl-Johan Dalgaard and Pablo Selaya.   "Lightning, IT Diffusion, and Economic Growth Across U.S. States".   The Review of Economics and Statistics, 94(4):903-924.   Link
  28. 2011.   Vollrath, Dietrich.   "The agricultural basis of comparative development".   Journal of Economic Growth, 16:343-370.
  29. 2011.   Timothy W. Guinnane.   "The Historical Fertility Transition, A Guide for Economists".   Journal of Economic Literature, 49(3):589-614.   Link
  30. 2011.   Jeremiah E. Dittmar.   "Information Technology and Economic Change, The Impact of The Printing Press".   The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 126(3):1133-1172.   Link
  31. 2011.   Ashraf, Quamrul and Galor, Oded.   "Dynamics and stagnation in the malthusian epoch".   American Economic Review, 101(5):2003-41.
  32. 2011.   R. C. Allen and J. L. Weisdorf.   "Was there an `industrious revolution' before the industrial revolution? An empirical exercise for England, c. 1300--1830".   Economic History Review, 64(3):715-729.   Link
  33. 2011.   R. C. Allen.   "Why the industrial revolution was British, commerce, induced invention, and the scientific revolution".   Economic History Review, 64(2):357-384.   Link
  34. 2011.   Robert C. Allen and Jean-Pascal Bassino and Debin Ma and Christine Moll-Murata and Jan Luiten Van Zanden.   "Wages, prices, and living standards in China, 1738-1925, in comparison with Europe, Japan, and India".   Economic History Review, 64(s1):8-38.
  35. 2011.   Alesina, Alberto and Paola Giuliano and Nathan Nunn.   "Fertility and the Plough".   NBER Working Papers, .
  36. 2011.   Nunn, Nathan and Qian, Nancy.   "The Potato's Contribution to Population and Urbanization, Evidence from a Historical Experiment".   The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 126(2):pp. 593-650.   Link
  37. 2011.   Oded Galor.   Unified Growth Theory. Princeton University Press
  38. 2011.   Becker, Sascha O. and Erik Hornung and Ludger Woessmann.   "Education and Catch-up in the Industrial Revolution".   American Economic Journal, Macroeconomics, 3:92-126.
  39. 2010.   Putterman, Louis and Weil, David N..   "Post-1500 Population Flows and the Long-Run Determinants of Economic Growth and Inequality".   Quarterly Journal of Economics, 125(4):1627--1682.
  40. 2010.   Go, Sun and Lindert, Peter.   "The Uneven Rise of American Public Schools to 1850".   The Journal of Economic History, 70(01):1--26.
  41. 2010.   David Donaldson.   "Railroads of the Raj, Estimating the Impact of Transportation Infrastructure".   NBER Working Papers, .
  42. 2010.   Becker, Sascha O. and Cinnirella, Francesco and Woessmann, Ludger.   "The effect of investment in children's education on fertility in 1816 Prussia".   Cliometrica, 1--16.
  43. 2010.   Michael Mitterauer.   Why Europe? The Medieval Origins of its Special Path. University of Chicago Press
  44. 2010.   Gallego, Francisco A..   "Historical Origins of Schooling, The Role of Democracy and Political Decentralization".   The Review of Economics and Statistics, 92(2):pp. 228-243.   Link
  45. 2009.   Jeffrey G. Williamson.   "Five Centuries of Latin American Inequality". National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc   Link
  46. 2009.   Nico Voigtl{\"a}nder and Hans-Joachim Voth.   "Malthusian Dynamism and the Rise of Europe, Make War, Not Love".   American Economic Review, 99(2):248-54.   Link
  47. 2009.   Spolaore, Enrico and Wacziarg, Romain.   "The Diffusion of Development".   Quarterly Journal of Economics, 124(2):469--529.
  48. 2009.   Mourmouras, Alex and Rangazas, Peter.   "Reconciling Kuznets and Habbakuk in a unified growth theory".   Journal of Economic Growth, 14(2):149--181.
  49. 2009.   Galor, Oded and Moav, Omer and Vollrath, Dietrich.   "Inequality in Landownership, the Emergence of Human-Capital Promoting Institutions, and the Great Divergence".   Review of Economic Studies, 76(1):143--179.
  50. 2009.   De la Croix, David and Doepke, Matthias.   "To segregate or to integrate, Education politics and democracy".   Review of Economic Studies, 76(2):597--628.
  51. 2009.   Crafts, Nicholas and Mills, Terence C..   "From Malthus to Solow, How did the Malthusian economy really evolve?".   Journal of Macroeconomics, 31(1):68-93.   Link
  52. 2009.   Becker, Sascha O. and Woessmann, Ludger.   "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History*".   Quarterly Journal of Economics, 124(2):531--596.
  53. 2009.   Becker, Sascha O. and Cinnirella, Francesco and Woessmann, Ludger.   "The trade-off between fertility and education, evidence from before the demographic transition".   Journal of Economic Growth, 1-28.
  54. 2009.   Allen, Robert C..   "The Industrial Revolution in Miniature, The Spinning Jenny in Britain, France, and India".   The Journal of Economic History, 69(04):901-927.   Link
  55. 2009.   Robert C. Allen.   "Agricultural productivity and rural incomes in England and the Yangtze Delta, c.1620-c.1820".   Economic History Review, 62(3):525-550.   Link
  56. 2009.   Allen, Robert C..   "Engels' pause, Technical change, capital accumulation, and inequality in the british industrial revolution".   Explorations in Economic History, 46(4):418-435.   Link
  57. 2009.   Alessandra Fogli and Raquel Fernandez.   "Culture, An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility".   American Economic Journal, Macroeconomics, 1(1):146-177.   Link
  58. 2008.   Weisdorf, Jacob L..   "Malthus revisited, Fertility decision making based on quasi-linear preferences".   Economics Letters, 99(1):127--130.
  59. 2008.   Strulik, Holger and Weisdorf, Jacob L..   "Population, food, and knowledge, A simple unified growth theory".   Journal of Economic Growth, 13(3):195--216.
  60. 2008.   Galor, Oded and Mountford, Andrew.   "Trading population for productivity, theory and evidence".   Review of Economic Studies, 75(4):1143--1179.
  61. 2008.   de Vries,Jan.   The Industrious Revolution. Cambridge University Press
  62. 2008.   Doepke, Matthias and Zilibotti, Fabrizio.   "Occupational Choice and the Spirit of Capitalism".   Quarterly Journal of Economics, 123(2):747--793.
  63. 2008.   Allen, Robert C..   "The Nitrogen Hypothesis and the English Agricultural Revolution, A Biological Analysis".   The Journal of Economic History, 68(01):182-210.   Link
  64. 2008.   Aiyar, Shekhar and Dalgaard, Carl-Johan and Moav, Omer.   "Technological progress and regress in pre-industrial times".   Journal of Economic Growth, 13(2):125--144.
  65. 2007.   Shiue, Carol H. and Keller, Wolfgang.   "Markets in China and Europe on the Eve of the Industrial Revolution".   The American Economic Review, 97(4):pp. 1189-1216.   Link
  66. 2007.   Congdon Fors, Heather and Olsson, Ola.   "Endogenous institutional change after independence".   European Economic Review, 51(8):1896-1921.   Link
  67. 2007.   Gregory Clark.   A Farewell to Alms. Princeton University Press
  68. 2006.   Weisdorf, Jacob L..   "From domestic manufacture to Industrial Revolution, long-run growth and agricultural development".   Oxford Economic Papers, 58(2):264-287.
  69. 2006.   Nico Voigtl{\"a}nder and Hans-Joachim Voth.   "Why England? Demographic factors, structural change and physical capital accumulation during the Industrial Revolution".   Journal of Economic Growth, 11(4):319-361.   Link
  70. 2006.   Nils-Petter Lagerl{\"o}f.   "The Galor-Weil Model Revisited, A Quantitative Exercise".   Review of Economic Dynamics, 9(1):116-142.   Link
  71. 2006.   Galor, Oded and Moav, Omer.   "Das human-kapital, A theory of the demise of the class structure".   The Review of Economic Studies, 73(1):85.
  72. 2006.   Stephen Broadberry and Bishnupriya Gupta.   "The early modern great divergence, wages, prices and economic development in Europe and Asia, 1500-1800".   Economic History Review, 59(1):2-31.
  73. 2005.   Matteo Cervellati and Uwe Sunde.   "Human Capital Formation, Life Expectancy, and the Process of Development".   American Economic Review, 95(5):1653-1672.   Link
  74. 2005.   Clark, Gregory.   "The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1209--2004".   Journal of Political Economy, 113(6):1307-1340.   Link
  75. 2005.   Allen, Robert C..   "Real Wages in Europe and Asia, A First Look at the Long-term Patterns".   Living Standards in the Past, New Perspectives on Well-Being in Asia and Europe.   Link
  76. 2005.   Acemoglu, Daron and Simon Johnson and James A. Robinson.   "Institutions and Fundamental Cause of Long-run Growth".   Handbook of Economic Growth.
  77. 2004.   Weisdorf, Jacob L..   "From stagnation to growth, revisiting three historical regimes".   Journal of Population Economics, 17(3):455--472.
  78. 2004.   Galor, Oded and Moav, Omer.   "From physical to human capital accumulation, Inequality and the process of development".   Review of Economic Studies, 71(4):1001--1026.
  79. 2004.   Doepke, Matthias.   "Accounting for fertility decline during the transition to growth".   Journal of Economic Growth, 9(3):347--383.
  80. 2003.   Hans-Joachim Voth.   "Living Standards During the Industrial Revolution, An Economist's Guide".   American Economic Review, 93(2):221-226.   Link
  81. 2003.   Rappaport, Jordan and Sachs, Jeffrey D.   "The United States as a Coastal Nation".   Journal of Economic Growth, 8(1):5-46.   Link
  82. 2002.   Williamson, Jeffrey G..   "Land, Labor, And Globalization In The Third World, 1870 1940".   The Journal of Economic History, 62(01):55-85.   Link
  83. 2002.   Kenneth Pomeranz.   "Beyond the East-West Binary, Resituating Development Paths in the Eighteenth-Century World".   The Journal of Asian Studies, 61(2):539-590.   Link
  84. 2002.   James Lee and Cameron Campbell and Wang Feng.   "Positive Check or Chinese Checks?".   The Journal of Asian Studies, 61(2):591-607.   Link
  85. 2002.   Philip C. C. Huang.   "Development or Involution in Eighteenth-Century Britain and China? A Review of Kenneth Pomeranz's The Great Divergence, China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy".   The Journal of Asian Studies, 61(2):501-538.   Link
  86. 2002.   Galor, Oded and Omer Moav.   "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth".   Quarterly Journal of Economics, 117(4):1133--1191.
  87. 2002.   Robert Brenner and Christopher Isett.   "England's Divergence from China's Yangzi Delta, Property Relations, Microeconomics, and Patterns of Development".   The Journal of Asian Studies, 61(2):609-662.   Link
  88. 2002.   Acemoglu, Daron and Simon Johnson and James Robinson.   "Reversal of fortune, geography and development in the making of the modern world income distribution".   Quarterly Journal of Economics, 117(4):1231--1294.
  89. 2002.   Joel Mokyr.   The Gifts of Athena, Historical Origins of the Knowledge Economy. Princeton University Press
  90. 2002.   Lee, Ronald and Anderson, Michael.   "Malthus in state space, Macro economic-demographic relations in English history, 1540 to 1870".   Journal of Population Economics, 15(2):195--220.   Link
  91. 2002.   Hansen, Gary D. and Edward C. Prescott.   "From Malthus to Solow".   American Economic Review, 92(4):1205-1217.
  92. 2001.   Voth, Hans-Joachim.   "The Longest Years, New Estimates Of Labor Input In England, 1760 1830".   The Journal of Economic History, 61(04):1065-1082.   Link
  93. 2001.   Brenner, Robert P..   "The Low Countries in the Transition to Capitalism".   Journal of Agrarian Change, 1(2):169-241.   Link
  94. 2001.   Allen, Robert C..   "The great divergence in European wages and prices from the Middle Ages to the First World War".   Explorations in Economic History, 38(4):411--447.
  95. 2001.   Acemoglu, Daron and Simon Johnson and James Robinson.   "The colonial origins of economic development, an empirical investigation".   American Economic Review, 91(5):1369--1401.
  96. 2000.   Simon Szreter and Eilidh Garrett.   "Reproduction, Compositional Demography, and Economic Growth, Family Planning in England Long Before the Fertility Decline".   Population and Development Review, 26(1):45-80.   Link
  97. 2000.   Kenneth Pomeranz.   The Great Divergence. Princeton University Press
  98. 2000.   Galor, Oded and Weil, David N..   "Population, technology, and growth, From Malthusian stagnation to the demographic transition and beyond".   The American Economic Review, 90(4):806--828.   Link
  99. 2000.   Sokoloff, Kenneth L. and Engerman, Stanley L..   "History Lessons, Institutions, Factors Endowments, and Paths of Development in the New World".   The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 14(3):217-232.   Link
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  101. 1999.   Robert C. Allen.   "Tracking the Agricultural Revolution in England".   The Economic History Review, 52(2):209-235.
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