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A Concise Economic History of the World

From Paleolithic Times to the Present

Fifth edition

Larry Neal and Rondo Cameron

Publication Date - 17 November 2015

ISBN: 9780199989768

496 pages
6-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

A broad sweep of economic history from prehistoric times to the present, now with a greater global scope


A Concise Economic History of the World offers a broad sweep of economic history from prehistoric times to the present. Comprehensive and now even more global in scope, the fifth edition examines the ongoing effects of globalization on both past civilizations and our current global economy. With illustrations, maps, charts, and a fully updated annotated bibliography, this unique work remains an invaluable, lively, and accessible text for both undergraduate and graduate students of general economic history, the history of globalization, and world development.

New to this Edition

  • Incorporates more content on Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East
  • Addresses variations in global economic climate that affected past civilizations, and may also affect our current global economy
  • Includes a fully updated annotated bibliography that guides students to the relevant scholarly literature


  • The only text to offer a broad sweep of economic history from prehistoric times to the present-in one volume
  • Explores economic development and the disparity of wealth among nations over time in elegant but accessible prose
  • Numerous tables, photographs, and maps illustrate the broader ideas and provide detailed context on such issues as population, consumption patterns, migration, and industrial development

About the Author(s)

Larry Neal is Professor of Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of The Rise of Financial Capitalism (1991) and The Economics of the European Union and the Economies of Europe (OUP, 1998). He was the editor of Explorations in Economic History from 1991 to 1998.

Rondo Cameron was the William Rand Kenan Professor of Economics and History at Emory University. He was the 1991 recipient of the Editor's Award for Exceptional Books for the first edition of A Concise Economic History of the World. He authored or co-authored several books, including The European World (1970) and Civilizations: Western and World (1975), and was the coeditor of International Banking 1870-1914 (OUP, 1991).

Previous Publication Date(s)

May 2002
January 1997
March 1993


"This is an important book. It is the best textbook on world/European economic history on the market, and Professors Cameron and Neal should be thanked for doing a service to the field of economic history."--George R. Boyer, Cornell University, ILR School

"I think this is the best current economic history text available for both graduate and undergraduate use. It is very well written and infinitely accessible to advanced students (from sophomores on up)."--Giulio Gallarotti, Wesleyan University

"I would describe it as the current best comprehensive survey text of the history of the world economy."--David Clingingsmith, Case Western University

Table of Contents

    List of Figures
    List of Tables

    Chapter 1. Introduction: Economic History and the Global Economy
    Chapter 2. Economic Development in Ancient Times
    Chapter 3. Economic Development in Medieval Eurasia
    Chapter 4. Economic Response to the Medieval Crisis
    Chapter 5. Europe's Recovery and Discovery of the Rest of the World
    Chapter 6. Economic Nationalism and Imperialism
    Chapter 7. The Dawn of Modern Industry
    Chapter 8. The Global Economy Confronts British Capitalism
    Chapter 9. Institutions Adjust (or not) to Modern Economic Growth
    Chapter 10. European Economies Adjust (or not) to Modern Economic Growth
    Chapter 11. The Growth of the World Economy, 1848-1914
    Chapter 12. The Spread of Development in Europe, 1848-1914
    Chapter 13. The Spread of Development Beyond Europe, 1848-1914
    Chapter 14. International Economic Disintegration, 1914-1945
    Chapter 15. Rebuilding the World Economy, 1945-1989
    Chapter 16. Overview of the World Economy, 1914-2014

    Annotated Bibliography