England since, like, ever

Prof. Clark sits in the “what revolution?” camp among economic historians that try to date the industrial revolution. His data: Why does this matter? Well, if there was no revolution, only evolution, to modern industrial society, you need an underlying evolutionary mechanism. Clark favors genes-based stories, but most other folks are more comfortable with culture-based […]

The Paternalist links The Behavioralist

Krugman likes Prof. Clark’s stuff.

Why was Rome rich…

…and Clark not wrong? notsneaky explains why even in Malthusian economies, we can see long episodes of above subsistence living standards. Speaking of bubbles. Are we in a centuries long Malthusian bubble now? If so, what was the shock that got us there? By notsneaky’s analysis it’d have to be a biggie.

Alms Watch 2007 2008

The book reviews, the “real” book reviews, are rolling in: Robert A. Margo says, So, in the end, should you read A Farewell to Alms? If you are into Big Think as a consumer or producer, the answer is a definite “yes” — especially if you are a producer (trust me, you will need to […]

Alms Watch 2007

The Author speaks. Excerpt: The book has provoked strong reactions: praised as ambitious and innovative, denounced as tendentious, derivative, or even “irritating.” While being vilified on one side as a “social Darwinist,” I have been invited by Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earthwatch Institute at Columbia University (and friend of Bill Gates, Angelina Jolie and […]

Fertility and economic status

Kings and Emperors were rich, but not all the Rich were Kings and Emperors. So, it follows that historical evidence showing Kings and Emperors had lots of kids doesn’t tell us much about whether or not the Rich had lots of kids. Laura Betzig makes this error in her critique of Farewell to Alms (pdf). […]

Alms Watch 2007

The heavies are weighing in on Farewell to Alms. Not unexpectedly, they like the data but hate the underling thesis. First, Prof. Clark goes head to head with Prof. Robinson (of MIT Harvard… like there’s a difference…) on the causes of the industrial revolution. Robinson is a big time believer in institutions (his latest paper […]

China has good institutions?

So says Robert Samuelson in his Washington Post review of Farewell to Alms. “More important, China’s recent, astonishing expansion (a fact that he barely mentions) demonstrates that economic policies and institutions matter.” News to me.

Cowan Cowen at UCD

I forgot to mention that Tyler Cowen came and talked at UCD last Thursday. Earlier in the afternoon he had the stage all to himself to talk about why people blog ((its a loss leader)) and why people read blogs ((to get their own personalized celebrity gossip)). Felix Simon watched the video of the talk […]

Alms Watch 2007

Bryan Caplan continues to misunderstand Clark’s take on Malthusian Logic. Increasing populations lead to greater number of innovations, but populations before 1800 grew very, very slowly ((Also, Kremer’s observation that more people leads to more inventions is more like an empirical fact; he doesn’t really lay out a mechanism. Kremer has a model in his […]