China, Europe and the Great Divergence: A Study in Historical National Accounting, 980-1850

65 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2017

See all articles by Stephen N. Broadberry

Stephen N. Broadberry

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Hanhui Guan

Peking University

David D. Li

Tsinghua University

Date Written: April 2017

Abstract

Chinese GDP per capita fluctuated at a high level during the Northern Song and Ming dynasties before trending downwards during the Qing dynasty. China led the world in living standards during the Northern Song dynasty, but had fallen behind Italy by 1300. At this stage, it is possible that parts of China were still on a par with the richest parts of Europe, but by 1750 the gap was too large to be bridged by regional variation within China and the Great Divergence had already begun before the Industrial Revolution.

Suggested Citation

Broadberry, Stephen N. and Guan, Hanhui and Li, David D., China, Europe and the Great Divergence: A Study in Historical National Accounting, 980-1850 (April 2017). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP11972. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2957511

Stephen N. Broadberry (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

+44 0 24 7652 3446 (Phone)
+44 0 24 7652 3032 (Fax)

Hanhui Guan

Peking University ( email )

No. 38 Xueyuan Road
Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100871
China

David D. Li

Tsinghua University ( email )

Beijing, 100084
China

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