Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 25, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412979290 | Print ISBN: 9781412961424 | Online ISBN: 9781412979290| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this handbook
Chapter 2: Economic History
Economic history Economic history is the series of social arrangements and physical processes by which human societies produced the material conditions of human life since the emergence of the human species. The discipline of economic history is the study of this series of arrangements and processes, although much of the discipline is devoted to the study of the development of modern economic growth. The reason for this is that modern economic growth brought with it sustained and accumulating increases in the per capita wealth of human societies. Before modern economic growth, any improvement in productivity led to an increase in the population, not an increase in the standard of living. In this chapter, human economic history will be examined through the lens of the discipline of economic history. First, theory is analyzed, and then empirical evidence. The theory and evidence sections are followed by policy implications, future directions for research, ...