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The First Modern Economy
Success, Failure, and Perseverance of the Dutch Economy, 1500–1815


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  • Date Published: May 1997
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521570619

$ 160.00

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About the Authors
  • The First Modern Economy provides a comprehensive economic history of the Netherlands during its rise to European economic leadership, the 'Golden Age', and subsequent decline (1500–1815). The authors argue that it was the first modern economy, and defend their position with detailed analyses of its major economic sectors, as well as investigations of social structure and macro-economic performance. Dutch economic history is placed in its European and world context, and inter-continental and colonial trade are discussed fully. Special emphasis is placed on the environmental context of economic growth and later decline, as well as on demographic developments. The authors also argue that the Dutch model of development and stagnation is applicable to currently maturing economies.

    • New interpretation of origins and character of modern economic growth
    • Comprehensive study of Dutch colonial trade and its role in European development
    • First macro-economic analysis of time-period, including first estimates of national incomes and growth rates in 17th and 18th centuries
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    • The joint winners of the highly prestigious Gyorgi Ranki prize of the Economic History Association for the best books in European Economic History published in 1997 or 1998

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 1997
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521570619
    • length: 792 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 41 mm
    • weight: 1.22kg
    • contains: 68 b/w illus. 11 maps 102 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. By way of introduction
    Part I. Structures:
    2. Space and time, structures and conjunctures
    3. The people
    4. Money and taxes, borrowing and lending
    5. Three questions
    Part II. Sectors:
    6. Agriculture
    7. Fishing
    8. Industry
    9. Foreign trade until the mid-seventeenth century
    10. Foreign trade after the mid-seventeenth century
    Part III. Analysis:
    11. City and country: the social structure of a modern economy
    12. The standard of living and the labor market
    13. The course of the economy: a macroeconomic analysis
    14. Postlude.

  • Authors

    Jan de Vries, University of California, Berkeley

    Ad van der Woude, Landbouw-Economisch Instituut, The Netherlands


    • The joint winners of the highly prestigious Gyorgi Ranki prize of the Economic History Association for the best books in European Economic History published in 1997 or 1998

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