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Chapter Summary

Since the beginning of modern growth, the gross domestic product (GDP) in the economies of western European countries has increased more than 40 times. In order to specify the level of GDP in pre-modern Europe this chapter begins with data on prices and wages. A comparison between the trend of prices in agriculture and nonagricultural activities confirms what we have already seen for the movement of economic sectors in pre-modern dualistic economies. In pre-modern economies, when the population increased, the price of wheat rose accordingly. The advance of pauperism in Europe has oft en been stressed by social historians. The long-term trend of industrial productivity resembles that of agriculture. Data on aggregate and per capita output in pre-modern times can only be based on the internal plausibility of the overall view of a long economic process.

Keywords: agriculture; gross domestic product (GDP); pauperism; pre-modern economies; pre-modern Europe; wages; western European countries

10.1163/ej.9789004178229.i-428.40
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