Everyone in the profession knows Angus Maddison. He has written dozens of books and articles on a myriad of issues, and, above all, three books (Maddison 1982, 1991 and 1995) which rank among the major modern interpretations of long-term economic growth. His books, however, stand out even within this literature because of their Statistical Appendices. They contain the most comprehensive data set available on historical trends in GDP (and on much else), and thus, they have become in all likelihood the most quoted books in economic history and perhaps in economics as well. In fact, his latest book (Maddison 2001) is hailed by Paul Krugman as an essential reference for anyone interested in global economic development for many years (www.sourceOECD.org). Maddison sets out to accomplish three main tasks: (1) To revise and update to 1998 the data for the industrial period (after 1820); (2) To present comprehensive estimates for pre-industrial times, since 0 AD (so the subtitle is not boastful at all); and (3) To explore the main causes of long-term trends.
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