Path dependence, time lags and the birth of globalisation: A critique of O'Rourke and Williamson
FLYNN, DENNIS O.
GIR LDEZ, ARTURO
In a recent issue of the European Review of Economic History (vol. 6, 2002, pp. 23 50), Kevin O Rourke and Jeffrey Williamson dismiss claims by World historians who argue that globalisation is a phenomenon which stretches back several centuries, or even several millennia (p. 23). Rather, O Rourke and Williamson insist that g lobalisation did not begin 5,000 years ago, or even 500 years ago. It began in the early nineteenth century. In that sense, it is a very modern phenomenon (p. 47). O Rourke and Williamson offer an explicit model of world trade that predicts specific outcomes; and they marshal empirical evidence to support their contention that there was no global economy until the early decades of the nineteenth century.
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