Published in 2001 but still relevant today, The Economy - A Millennial Perspective, written by Angus Maddison, provides a comprehensive view of the growth and levels of world population since the year 1000. In this period, world population rose 22- fold, per capita GDP 13 fold and world GDP nearly 300 fold. The biggest gains occurred in the rich countries of today (Western Europe, North America, Australasia and Japan). The gap between the world leader - the United States - and the poorest region - Africa - is now 20:1. In the year 1000, the rich countries of today were poorer than Asia and Africa.
The book has several objectives: The first is a pioneering effort to quantify the economic performance of nations over the very long term. The second is to identify the forces which explain the success of the rich countries, and explore the obstacles which hindered advance in regions which lagged behind. The third is to scrutinise the interaction between the rich and the rest to assess the degree to which this relationship was exploitative.
This work cuts across the full range of the Development Centre’s 2001–2002 Work Programme and responds to the Centre’s mandate to “ … bring together the knowledge and experience in Member countries of both economic development and the formulation and execution of general economic policies … and to put the results at the disposal of (developing) countries.”
The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective is a "must" for all scholars of economics and economic history, while the casual reader will find much of fascinating interest. It is also a monumental work of reference. The book is a sequel to the author's Monitoring the World Economy: 1820 -1992, published by the OECD Development Centre in 1995, and his 1998 Chinese Economic Performance in the Long Run, also published by the OECD.
In 2003, a followng report was published: The World Economy - historical statistics. This book is intended as a quantitative reference work and guide to current and past research in macroeconomic history. It is a companion volume to The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective, published by OECD in 2001. The major purpose of that study was to provide an analytic survey of developments in the world economy over two millennia, and to explore the reasons for the great divergence in the momentum of advance in different regions. The analysis was underpinned by a comprehensive quantification of levels and movement in population, output, and per capita income. The statistical appendices provided annual estimates for 1950–1998, and for 8 benchmark years back to the first century. Annual estimates for 1870–1950 appeared in my earlier book Monitoring the World Economy 1820–1992.
For more information, reviews and samples of the book, visit www.TheWorldEconomy.org
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