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 World Economy, 1950–2001

OECD Development Centre

Tables 7a–7c show annual estimates of economic activity in 7 regions and the world for the year 1900, and annually 1950–2001. They aggregate the detailed estimates by country in HS–1 to HS–6 and there are analytical tables showing percentage year–to–year movement in real terms. Three basic ingredients are necessary for these estimates. These are time series on population which we have for 221 countries, time series showing the volume movement in GDP in constant national prices for 179 countries, and purchasing power converters for 99.3 per cent of world GDP in our benchmark year 1990. With these converters we can transform the GDP volume measures into comparable estimates of GDP level across countries for every year between 1950 and 2001. For countries where all three types of measure are available, the estimates of per capita GDP level are derivative. However, to arrive at a comprehensive world total, we need proxy measures of GDP movement for 42 countries, and proxy per capita GDP levels for 48 countries for the year 1990. These proxies collectively represent less than 1 per cent of world output...


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