Development Centre Studies

OECD Development Centre

1990-0295 (online)
1563-4302 (print)
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This series of monographs from the OECD Development Centre covers development issues generally and in some cases issues in specific countries. It  includes Angus Maddison’s books containing long-term historical estimates of GDP for various areas of the world.

Also available in French, Spanish
The World Economy

The World Economy

A Millennial Perspective You do not have access to this content

OECD Development Centre

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Angus Maddison
12 June 2001
9789264189980 (PDF) ;9789264186088(print)

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Angus Maddison provides a comprehensive view of the growth and levels of world population since the year 1000 when rich countries of today were poorer than Asia and Africa.  The gap between the world leader, the US and the poorest region, Africa, is now 20:1.  The book has several objectives.  The first is a pioneering effort to quantify the economic performance of nations over the very long term.  The second is to identify forces which explain the success of the rich countries, and explore the obstacles which hindered advance in regions which lagged behind.  The third is to scrutinise the interaction between the rich and the rest to assess the degree to which this relationship was exploitative.  The book is a monumental work of reference and a sequel to the author's Monitoring the World Economy: 1820-1992, published in 1995 and his 1998 Chinese Economic Performance in the Long Run.  It is a "must" for all scholars and students of economics and economic history, as well as a mine of fascinating facts for everyone else.  More information at:

"A tour de force. What a wonderful gift for the new century."

-Robert Mundell, Nobel Prize winner and Professor of Economics,
Columbia University.

"An essential reference for anyone interested in global development for many years to come."

-Paul Krugman, Professor of Economics, Princeton University.

"Quite simply a dazzling essay."

-Nicholas Eberstadt, American Enterprise Institute.

"Highly recommended . . . refreshing and full of historical information. An important book."

-Kisanhani F. Emizet, Kanzas University, writing in International Politics.

A Winner of the 2001 Awards for Notable Government Documents conferred by the American Library Association/Library Journal

Also available in French, German
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Table of Contents

Summary and Conclusions
Chapter 1. The Contours of World Development
Chapter 2. The Impact of Western Development on the Rest of the World, 1000-1950
Chapter 3. The World Economy in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century
Appendix A. World Population, GDP, and GDP Per Capita, Benchmark Years, 1820-1998
Appendix B. World Population, GDP, and GDP Per Capita before 1820
Appendix C. Annual Estimates of Population, GDP, and GDP Per Capita for 124 Countries, Seven Regions, and the World, 1950-1998
Appendix D. Growth and Levels of Performance in 27 Formerly Communist Countries, 1990-1998
Appendix E. Employment, Working Hours, and Labour Productivity
Appendix F. Value and Volume of Exports, 1870-1998

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