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Chapter Summary

According to this volume, European expansion to the New World and to Asia, was one of the most important events in modern economic history according to Karl Marx. The contributions in this volume to the discussion of productivity in shipping fall into two large categories. The first group examines specific places and periods, outlining the practices prevailing under certain regimes. The second group deals with the sources of productivity gains. To support the conclusion that expansion and rising productivity in shipping was the critical factor in economic growth from 1350 to 1850, the first step was to establish that there was considerable expansion in the shipping sector. The second step is to demonstrate that whatever productivity gains there were in the sector were greater than or superior to those in other sectors. The third step is to explore the principal sources of productivity gain.

Keywords: economic growth; European expansion; productivity gains; Shipping



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