Eric Lionel Jones

For most of its history Europe had been culturally a backwater of Asia. By late preindustrial times, however, Europe had the edge over other parts of the world in education and literacy, which are both correlates of investment and consumption. Europe experienced ahead of the other continents the prolonged and widespread process of development that eventually blurred into industrialisation. While there is no proven connection between very long-term well-being and the final mushrooming of growth, we may assume that, slight though it was by modern standards and distorted by distributional peculiarities, it was not a handicap.

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