Economics » Economic Growth » The Relatively Recent Arrival of Economic Growth

Key Concepts and Summary

Key Concepts and Summary

Since the early nineteenth century, there has been a spectacular process of long-run economic growth during which the world’s leading economies—mostly those in Western Europe and North America—expanded GDP per capita at an average rate of about 2% per year. In the last half-century, countries like Japan, South Korea, and China have shown the potential to catch up. The extensive process of economic growth, often referred to as modern economic growth, was facilitated by the Industrial Revolution, which increased worker productivity and trade, as well as the development of governance and market institutions.

Glossary

contractual rights

the rights of individuals to enter into agreements with others regarding the use of their property providing recourse through the legal system in the event of noncompliance

Industrial Revolution

the widespread use of power-driven machinery and the economic and social changes that occurred in the first half of the 1800s

modern economic growth

the period of rapid economic growth from 1870 onward

rule of law

the process of enacting laws that protect individual and entity rights to use their property as they see fit. Laws must be clear, public, fair, and enforced, and applicable to all members of society

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