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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/6056/the-european-miracle/

The European Miracle

December 22, 2006 by

Ralph Raico writes: A number of scholars concerned with the history of European growth have tended to converge on an interpretation highlighting certain distinctive factors. For the sake of convenience, we shall, therefore, speak of them, despite their differences, as forming a school of thought: the “European miracle” approach, where the “miracle” in question consists in a simple but momentous fact: It was in Europe — and the extensions of Europe, above all, America — that human beings first achieved per capita economic growth over a long period of time. In this way, European society eluded the “Malthusian trap,” enabling new tens of millions to survive and the population as a whole to escape the hopeless misery that had been the lot of the great mass of the human race in earlier times. The question is: why Europe? FULL ARTICLE


Dain December 22, 2006 at 9:15 pm

>It goes without saying that a great deal more >study is required.

I agree. For a more contempory, less Western empirical venture I’d recommend professor Peter Leeson’s “Better Off Stateless”: http://www.peterleeson.com/Better_Off_Stateless.pdf

Also the book Somalia: Economy Without State by Peter Little.

RogerM December 22, 2006 at 10:53 pm

Very nice! Thanks for publishing this article.

I first realized something was wrong with neo-classical economics after reading PT Bauer.

Those who like this article might also want to check out the discussion at Cato Unbound where Harrison defends culture as the main force behind development. The attempts to rebut Harrison’s arguments demonstrate how much confusion reigns among mainstream economists about how development happens.

adi December 23, 2006 at 9:22 am

Economic development is a very easy thing to explain:

We have a Solow-Swan model with its homogenous capital, no institutional background and per capita functional form of production relationship. Then add few extra features like poverty traps (no accumulation unless per capita level of capital is great enough) and whole mixture is ready.

Why need highly paid professors of history to study these easy things; you could as well leave those for professional economists and econometricians.

Jack Maturin December 24, 2006 at 6:28 am

Another superb article by Professor Raico. I would like to wish him the very best of Christmases and urge that he continues writing such informative pieces in the New Year, for those of us that seek understanding. I’d be particularly interested in his views on whether he thinks we’re about to enter a second ‘Dark Age’, as western governments, under the aegis of the American Empire, face the twin time bombs of state welfare and inflationist currency collapse, much in the same way that the late Roman Empire, and its client states, faced remarkably similar problems.

Matt December 27, 2006 at 6:09 pm

The “European Miracle” would have been more properly called the American Miracle.
Economic Progress that was made in the last two centuries was primarily due to the creation of the United States and the Great Value placed on Individual Rights. Unfortunately since WWI the United States has been emulating the Socialist practices of Europe more and more.

Most progress made in the past two centuries can be placed on the United States’ Constitution. The dark ages will return if we continue to follow the Socialists of Europe. Can we be sure of this ?
Yes! Because Socialism is based on the Ethics of Self Sacrifice of the Individual to the Collective. In the long run this is a house that cannot stand.

Daniel February 24, 2007 at 7:09 pm

Fascinating in-depth article on the economic footprint of gambling on the EU and UK markets

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