DP11972 China, Europe and the great Divergence: A Study in Historical National Accounting, 980-1850

Author(s): Stephen N Broadberry, Hanhui Guan, David Daokui Li
Publication Date: April 2017
Keyword(s):
JEL(s):
Programme Areas: Economic History
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=11972

Chinese GDP per capita fluctuated at a high level during the Northern Song and Ming dynasties before trending downwards during the Qing dynasty. China led the world in living standards during the Northern Song dynasty, but had fallen behind Italy by 1300. At this stage, it is possible that parts of China were still on a par with the richest parts of Europe, but by 1750 the gap was too large to be bridged by regional variation within China and the Great Divergence had already begun before the Industrial Revolution