19th and 20th Century of Europe

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Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries

During the 19th and 20th century, Europe witnessed its so-called demographic transition, with a fall in birth rates and an even greater fall in mortality rates, which led to a rapid increase in the population. The demographic transition was essentially a result of a decrease in chronic infectious diseases like tuberculosis, syphilis, diphtheria, measles, dysentery, and typhoid fever.
The wage dispersion evidence suggests that the middle of the 19th century is an appropriate date for the start of modern convergence in the Atlantic economy. One might view this convergence as one of transition toward globally-integrated Atlantic factor markets. The convergence in wages from about 1854
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And while restrictions on farm imports are still prominent in Europe today, OECD farm sectors are far too small to matter economy-wide to the extent that they did a century ago. Furthermore, the migrations from poor to rich countries today are pretty trivial affairs compared with the mass migrations up to World War I. Today, only the U.S. has across-the-border migration rates anything like those recorded all over the converging Atlantic economy prior to the quotas. And governments today have far more sophisticated ways to compensate losers than they had a century ago.

In conclusion we can say that during the 19th and 20th century the well-to-do European economies of that time included the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany, as well as Britain. In contrast, the nine members of the European periphery at this time were Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. (Austria and Denmark can be viewed as straddling the margin between core and periphery.) The industrial core countries had levels of GDP per head 67 percent higher than the poor European periphery (O'Rourke, 1997), and their real wages were 86 percent higher than the periphery. Note again that the sample excludes east and southeast Europe simply because the late 19th century data are inadequate for those regions. We do know, however, that these countries were relatively
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