The World Economy

Volume 1: A Millennial Perspective and Volume 2: Historical Statistics

image of The World Economy

The World Economy brings together two reference works by Angus Maddison: The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective, first published in 2001 and The World Economy: Historical Statistics, published in 2003. This new edition contains Statlinks, a service providing access to the underlying data in Excel® format.  These two volumes bring together estimates of world GDP for the past 2000 years and provide a unique perspective on the rise and fall of economies historically.

"One controversial clash of theories fueled by Maddison's data concerns the relative status of (growth in) the West versus the rest. The figures (in this book) are enriching economists' understanding of what make economies grow, and may even make it possible to reject some of the most prominent historical explanations." Diane Coyle, author of The Soulful Science, former economics editor of The Independent newspaper.


"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.



The Contours of World Development

OECD Development Centre

World economic performance was very much better in the second millennium of our era than in the first. Between 1000 and 1998 population rose 22–fold and per capita income 13–fold. In the previous millennium, population rose by a sixth and per capita GDP fell slightly. The second millennium comprised two distinct epochs. From 1000 to 1820 the upward movement in per capita income was a slow crawl — for the world as a whole the rise was about 50 per cent. Growth was largely “extensive” in character. Most of it went to accommodate a fourfold increase in population. Since 1820, world development has been much more dynamic, and more “intensive”. Per capita income rose faster than population; by 1998 it was 8.5 times as high as in 1820; population rose 5.6–fold...


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