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Title: Malthus and the First Divergence: How did Europe Pull Ahead of China after 1500?
Originating Office: IAS
Speaker: Voth, Hans-Joachim
Issue Date: 11-May-2015
Event Date: 11-May-2015
Group/Series/Folder: Record Group 8.15 - Institute for Advanced Study
Series 3 - Audio-visual Materials
Location: 8.15:3 EF
Notes: IAS Distinguished Lecture.
Title from opening screen.
Abstract: How did Europe pull ahead of China? Long before the Industrial Revolution allowed incomes to surge, Europe had gained a decisive edge in per capita living standards. In this talk, the speaker will argue that Europe's relative riches in 1700 are best understood as the result of Malthusian forces favoring high per capita output. Shifting mortality and fertility schedules can lead to different steady-state income levels, with long periods of growth during the transition. Incomes between 1300 and 1800 rose because of two related but distinct European 'inventions' - a peculiar marriage pattern and a specific mortality regime. Europe checked downward pressures on wages through late marriage, which reduced fertility, and a mortality regime that combined high death rates with high incomes. The speaker and his research group argue that both emerged as a result of the Black Death interacting with economic, social and political factors. In the ultimate analysis, it was not better institutions or more inventions that determined Europe’s economic edge; it was war, death, and (fewer) children.
Prof Hans-Joachim Voth obtained his PhD in Economic History from Nuffield College at the University of Oxford in 1996. Then he worked as a Senior Associate for McKinsey & Company in Munich. From 1998 to 2013, he was the Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra. He joined the University of Zurich in 2014 as the Chair in Economic Development at the Economics Department and the Affiliated Professor at the UBS Center for Economics in Society. He is a Research Fellow in the International Macro Program at the Centre for Economic Policy Research, has held visiting appointments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, New York University Stern School of Business and Stanford University. Prof Voth’s principal areas of research include long-run economic growth, the history of sovereign debt, causes and consequences of the Nazi Party's rise to power, and the economic history of the Industrial Revolution. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Explorations in Economic History. From 2015, he is one of the Joint Managing Editors of Economic Journal. He also serves as an Associate Editor at the Quarterly Journal of Economics. Prof Voth has published three academic books, five popular books and over 50 articles. In 2008, Prof Voth was awarded an Advanced Investigator Grant by the European Research Council. For his work, he received the European Hematology Association's Alexander Gerschenkron Prize and the Gino Luzzatto Prize from the European Historical Economics Society. Prof Voth is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. In 2011, he was invited to give the Tawney Lecture at the Economic History Society.
Duration: 92 min.
Appears in Series:8.15:3 - Audio-visual Materials
Videos for Public -- Distinguished Lectures