Catalogue


Why Australia prospered : the shifting sources of economic growth /
Ian W. McLean.
imprint
Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press, c2013.
description
xiv, 281 p.
ISBN
0691154678 (hardcover), 9780691154671 (hardcover)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press, c2013.
isbn
0691154678 (hardcover)
9780691154671 (hardcover)
contents note
Preface and acknowledgments -- Map -- Introduction : weaving analysis and narrative -- What is to be explained, and how comparative levels of gdp per capita -booms, busts, and stagnation in domestic prosperity -- Origins : an economy built from scratch? -- Squatting, colonial autocracy, and imperial policies -- Becoming very rich -- Depression, drought, and federation -- A succession of negative shocks -- The pacific war and the second golden age -- Shocks, policy shifts, and another long boom -- The shifting bases of prosperity -- References -- Index.
catalogue key
8679142
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [259]-275) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Looking at a period spanning two hundred years, this book explores why Australia was so rich at the end of the nineteenth century and why it has remained rich. McLean shows how history sheds light on Australia's long-run economic performance and he cogently discusses the contributions and limitations of formal theory in explaining Australian growth."-- George Grantham, professor emeritus, McGill University "This exceptionally well-written book explains why Australia has been almost continuously prosperous since the first settlement. A truly deep study of the mechanisms of economic growth, it is a top-rate contribution to its field and will become the standard work on Australian economic history."-- Eric Jones, professor emeritus, La Trobe University
Flap Copy
"Looking at a period spanning two hundred years, this book explores why Australia was so rich at the end of the nineteenth century and why it has remained rich. McLean shows how history sheds light on Australia's long-run economic performance and he cogently discusses the contributions and limitations of formal theory in explaining Australian growth."--George Grantham, professor emeritus, McGill University "This exceptionally well-written book explains why Australia has been almost continuously prosperous since the first settlement. A truly deep study of the mechanisms of economic growth, it is a top-rate contribution to its field and will become the standard work on Australian economic history."--Eric Jones, professor emeritus, La Trobe University
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2013-04-01:
McLean (visiting research fellow in economics, Univ. of Adelaide, Australia) provides a comprehensive account of the factors contributing to Australia's remarkable economic growth. In little more than 50 years after European settlers arrived in 1788, Australia's per capita income had surpassed that of the US, and from around 1860 to the mid 1890s it was the highest in the world. Australia continues to rank as a high-income nation. Different factors contributed to prosperity in different periods, so the reasons are not susceptible to easy summarization. Boom times took off shortly after the settlers arrived, first in agriculture and then with the discovery of gold. The good times ended in the early 1890s with a series of adverse developments including a financial panic, drought, WW I, and the Great Depression. The author details how prosperity returned with WW II actions in the Pacific theater and reconstruction in war-ravaged countries, which prompted rapid industrialization in Australia. Economic development in Asia has brought about a return to extractive industries as prime promoters of Australian growth. McLean concludes with the expectation that the bases for prosperity will continue to shift as internal and international circumstances change. Summing Up: Recommended. Economics collections at all levels. E. L. Whalen formerly, Clarke College
Reviews
Review Quotes
In this impressive book McLean demonstrates the contribution economic history can make to scholarship on the past and the politics of the present. . . . [T]he work of a manifestly fine scholar with many important points to make and ideas that need to be heard far beyond university economics departments, or what's left of them.
"In this impressive book McLean demonstrates the contribution economic history can make to scholarship on the past and the politics of the present. . . . [T]he work of a manifestly fine scholar with many important points to make and ideas that need to be heard far beyond university economics departments, or what's left of them."-- Stephen Matchett, Australian
In Why Australia Prospered , Ian McLean explores the fascinating mix of factors explaining this persistence of prosperity. . . . [A] carefully researched book . . .
"In Why Australia Prospered , Ian McLean explores the fascinating mix of factors explaining this persistence of prosperity. . . . [A] carefully researched book . . ."-- Times Higher Education Supplement
"[T]he first major economic history of Australia for 40 years . . ."-- Ross Gittins, Sydney Morning Herald
"[R]emarkable. . . . Why Australia Prospered distills decades of research and teaching to present an account of Australia and its development that is solid, surprising and pertinent to the contemporary debate about the country's future. . . . In his assembly of evidence and his judicious review of the debates of Australian development, McLean has made a profoundly important contribution to our understanding of where Australia has come from as a nation, where they country is now--and where it is going."-- Australian Financial Review
[T]he first major economic history of Australia for 40 years . . .
McLean provides a comprehensive account of the factors contributing to Australia's remarkable economic growth.
"[A]n outstanding piece of scholarship. . . . Ian McLean has written a timely and masterful account of the long sweep of Australia's economic history, which will be relished by anyone interested in the unique circumstances of this country's remarkable economic development. Written for the non-specialist, the narrative is accessible, brisk and appropriately, if sparsely, illustrated with charts and tables."-- Ian Harper, EH.Net
"McLean provides a comprehensive account of the factors contributing to Australia's remarkable economic growth."-- Choice
[R]emarkable. . . . Why Australia Prospered distills decades of research and teaching to present an account of Australia and its development that is solid, surprising and pertinent to the contemporary debate about the country's future. . . . In his assembly of evidence and his judicious review of the debates of Australian development, McLean has made a profoundly important contribution to our understanding of where Australia has come from as a nation, where they country is now--and where it is going.
[A]n outstanding piece of scholarship. . . . Ian McLean has written a timely and masterful account of the long sweep of Australia's economic history, which will be relished by anyone interested in the unique circumstances of this country's remarkable economic development. Written for the non-specialist, the narrative is accessible, brisk and appropriately, if sparsely, illustrated with charts and tables.
This item was reviewed in:
The Australian, March 2013
Choice, April 2013
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
This book is the first comprehensive account of how Australia attained the world's highest living standards within a few decades of European settlement, and how the nation has sustained an enviable level of income to the present. Beginning with the Aboriginal economy at the end of the eighteenth century, Ian McLean argues that Australia's remarkable prosperity across nearly two centuries was reached and maintained by several shifting factors. These included imperial policies, favorable demographic characteristics, natural resource abundance, institutional adaptability and innovation, and growth-enhancing policy responses to major economic shocks, such as war, depression, and resource discoveries. Natural resource abundance in Australia played a prominent role in some periods and faded during others, but overall, and contrary to the conventional view of economists, it was a blessing rather than a curse. McLean shows that Australia's location was not a hindrance when the international economy was centered in the North Atlantic, and became a positive influence following Asia's modernization. Participation in the world trading system, when it flourished, brought significant benefits, and during the interwar period when it did not, Australia's protection of domestic manufacturing did not significantly stall growth. McLean also considers how the country's notorious origins as a convict settlement positively influenced early productivity levels, and how British imperial policies enhanced prosperity during the colonial period. He looks at Australia's recent resource-based prosperity in historical perspective, and reveals striking elements of continuity that have underpinned the evolution of the country's economy since the nineteenth century.
Bowker Data Service Summary
This title is a comprehensive account of how Australia attained the world's highest living standards within a few decades of European settlement, and how the nation has sustained an enviable level of income to the present.
Table of Contents
List of Figuresp. ix
List of Tablesp. xi
Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Mapp. xvi
Introduction: Weaving Analysis and Narrativep. 1
What Is to Be Explained, and Howp. 11
Comparative Levels of GDP Per Capitap. 11
Booms, Busts, and Stagnation in Domestic Prosperityp. 15
Other Indicators of Economic Prosperityp. 19
From Evidence to Analysisp. 25
Extensive Growth and Factor Accumulationp. 27
Growth Theory and Australian Economic Historiographyp. 29
Recent Themes in Growth Economicsp. 32
Origins: An Economy Built from Scratch?p. 37
The Pre-1788 Economy of the Aboriginesp. 38
The Aboriginal Contribution to the Post-1788 Economyp. 42
The Convict Economy and Its Peculiar Labor Marketp. 44
Further Features of the Economy Relevant to Later Prosperityp. 50
British Subsidies and Australian Living Standardsp. 53
Squatting, Colonial Autocracy, and Imperial Policiesp. 57
Why the Wool Industry Was So Efficientp. 58
Evolution of Political Institutions: From Autocracy to Responsible Governmentp. 63
The Labor Market: Ending Transportation, Preventing Coolie Immigrationp. 67
Thwarting the Squatters: Land Policies to 1847p. 69
Other Determinants of Early Colonial Prosperityp. 73
The Argentine Road Not Takenp. 76
Becoming Very Richp. 80
The Economic Effects of Gold: Avoiding the Resource Cursep. 84
Sustaining Economic Prosperity Following the Rushesp. 90
Consolidating Democracy and Resolving the Squatter-Selector Conflictp. 96
Openness and Growthp. 100
Rural Productivity and Its Sourcesp. 108
Depression, Drought, and Federationp. 113
Explaining Relative Incomesp. 113
Eating the Seed Corn?p. 116
Boom, Bubble, and Bust: A Classic Debt Crisisp. 119
Why Was Recovery So Slow? Comparison with Other Settler Economiesp. 125
Tropics, Crops, and Melanesians: Another Road Not Takenp. 132
Economic Effects of Federationp. 135
Accounting for the Loss of the "Top Spot" in Income Per Capitap. 139
A Succession of Negative Shocksp. 144
Why Was the Economic Impact of World War I So Severe?p. 147
Why No Return to Normalcy?p. 148
Pursuing Rural Development-A Field of Dreams?p. 154
Growth in Other Settler Economiesp. 157
Debt Crisis, Then Depression-Policy Responses and Constraintsp. 160
Imperial Economic Links-Declining Net Benefitsp. 165
Could the Post-1960 Mineral Boom Have Occurred Earlier?p. 170
The Debate over Stagnant Living Standardsp. 173
The Pacific War and the Second Golden Agep. 176
Why the Pacific War Fostered Domestic Growthp. 177
The Golden Age Was Not Uniquely Australianp. 183
Export Growth, Factor Inflows, and the Korean War Wool Boomp. 186
Macroeconomic Theory and Policies-What Role?p. 191
Location Advantage: Asian Industrialization and Changing Trade Partnersp. 193
High Tide for Australian Industrializationp. 196
Underinvestment in Human Capital?p. 199
The Debate over Postwar Growth Performancep. 205
Shocks, Policy Shifts, and Another Long Boomp. 210
Why Did the Postwar Economic Boom End?p. 212
The Reemergence of a Booming Mining Sectorp. 215
Macroeconomic Management in the 1970sp. 217
Economic Policy Shifts in the 1980sp. 219
Reevaluationsp. 224
The Quarry Economy: The Return of Resources-Based Prosperityp. 228
The Contribution of Economic Reforms to Productivityp. 235
Sustaining Prosperity through Boom and Bubble-A Historical Perspectivep. 241
The Shifting Bases of Prosperityp. 246
Appendix: Note on Statistics and Sourcesp. 257
Referencesp. 259
Indexp. 277
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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