Angus Maddison’s New Book

I have very few books in my office, which is quite small, but in pride of place

on my reference shelf stands Angus Maddison’s masterful reference work "The

World Economy". No one has spent more time or effort trying to put

together reliable economic statistics for different parts of the world over

the past thousand years (!), and the results are invaluable.

Now comes news

that Maddison’s "Contours

of the World Economy 1-2030 AD: Essays in Macro-Economic History" is

being released in November. This book is just as ambitious as his last, drier,

tome, and looks to be aiming at Jared Diamond territory:

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 1 begins 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 for which Professor Maddison is famous with a more qualitative

approach that takes into account the complexity of the forces at work, this

book provides students and all interested readers with a totally fascinating

overview of world economic history.

I can’t wait.

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