We take economic growth and its benefits for granted. But until about 300 years ago the very idea was non-existent. It was only with the commercial and industrial revolutions in Europe that economic growth began to be observed. Subsequently it has spread to most, but not all, areas of the world, transforming the planet and the lives of those who live on it.
In this book Koyama and Rubin explore the various theories that have been put forward to explain why modern economic growth happened, rooted variously in geography, politics, culture, demography and colonialism. They conclude that there is no killer recipe and that a society’s institutions and culture always play a role. A great summary of the thinking and analysis that has gone into this area; you can save yourself a lot of reading through this book.