Lecture 7

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Unformatted text preview: Economic Growth: A Comparative and Historical Analysis: L September 30, 2009 25 / 29 Implications of Results North and Weingast incomplete. They do not explain why this all happened in Britain. North and Thomas argued that this was due to initially good institutions (Tudor monarchy in England was relatively constrained already), but this is not su¢ cient to explain who did well (e.g. Italian city states had best institutions but stagnated). Crucial interaction between initial institutions and access to Atlantic/Overseas trading opportunities. In fact, while in Britain and the Netherlands trade went hand in hand with improvements of institutions, in Spain there was institutional decline. This is very much like Brenner’ story. It is the initial institutions s (balance of power in society) that determines the implications of a big trade shock. James A. Robinson (Harvard) The Emergence of Modern Economic Growth: A Comparative and Historical Analysis: L September 30, 2009 26 / 29 The Rise of the Gentry There are other important arguments trying to explain the political revolutions of 17th century Britain. The most famous is that originally advanced by R.H. Tawney. In 1537 Henry VIII broke with the Catholic Church and expropriated their land, which may have been 30% of total. Most of this land was sold o¤ to …nance Wars and the running of government over the next century. Tawney (1941) argued that this led to the emergence of the Gentry, a new breed of pro…t maximizing capitalistic farmers. They bought the land and also transformed politics because they entered parliament and like merchants were a force trying to control the King. Jha’ results do not exactly speak to this unfortunately. s James A. Robinson (Harvard) The Emergence of Modern Economic Growth: A Comparative and Historical Analysis: L September 30, 2009 27 / 29 Taken from Christopher Clay (1984) Economic Expansion and Social Change: England 1500-1700, Volume 1. p. 143. The English Social Hierarchy in 1688 according to Gregory King, take from D.C. Cole...
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This document was uploaded on 02/28/2014 for the course ECON 2328 at Harvard.

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