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Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD

Essays in Macro-Economic History

Angus Maddison

Publication Date - December 2007

ISBN: 9780199227204

432 pages

Retail Price to Students: $104.99

This book seeks to identify the forces which explain how and why some parts of the world have grown rich and others have lagged behind.


This book seeks to identify the forces which explain how and why some parts of the world have grown rich and others have lagged behind. Encompassing 2000 years of history, Part 1begins with the Roman Empire and explores the key factors that have influenced economic development in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe. Part 2 covers the development of macroeconomic tools of analysis from the 17th century to the present. Part 3 looks to the future and considers what the shape of the world economy might be in 2030.

Combining both the close quantitative analysis with a more qualitative approach that takes into account the complexity of the forces at work, Contours of the World Economy provides students with a totally fascinating overview of world economic history.


  • Provides a world view of economic growth since classical antiquity to modern day and beyond
  • Seamlessly combines historical narratives with quantitative data
  • Ideal for students in economic history, development, and labour economics

About the Author(s)

Angus Maddison is Emeritus Professor of Economic Sociology at the University of Groningen. Known for his pioneering work in the field of the quantification of economic growth in the global and historic perspective, Professor Maddison has enjoyed a varied career. He has held a number of positions at St. Andrews University, Johns Hopkins University, MacGill University, the OECD, and Harvard University. He has also acted as a policy advisor for a number of institutions and advised the governments of Ghana and Pakistan. Prof. Maddison was recently awarded the title of Commander in the Order of Orange-Nassau in the Netherlands.


"The scope of the books is sweeping and ambitious.... Recommended."--CHOICE

Table of Contents

    Introduction and Summary
    Part I Contours of World Development, 1-2003 AD
    1. The Roman Empire and its Economy
    2. The Resurrection of the West and the Transformation of the Americas
    3. Interaction between Asia and the West, 1500-2030
    4. The Impact of Islam and Europe on African Development, 1-2003 A D
    Part II Advances in Macro-measurement since 1665
    5. Arithmeticians and Historical Demographers: The Pioneers of Macro-measurement
    6. Macro-measurement: How Far Have We Come?
    Part III The Shape of Things to Come
    7. The World Economy in 2030
    Statistical Appendix A
    Statistical Appendix B

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