Money Of Mars : Warfare And Europe

877 WordsJul 15, 20154 Pages
“Gifts of Mars: Warfare and Europe’s Early Rise to Riches” (Voigtlander & Voth, 2013) describes Europe’s penchant for war during the early modern period and how it transferred to a high per capita income. I will summarize how economic growth can be determined using the Malthusian theory and whether the hypothesis is reliable, analyze if war can effectively develop a country, and critique the hypothesis. The “First Divergence” means Europe developed faster than other countries before the Industrial Revolution. Table 1 illustrates the urbanization rates and GDP per capita for Europe and China; before 1300, the GDP per capita was higher in China than in Europe. However, the GDP per capita and urbanization rate in Europe quickly surpassed China’s before the Industrial Revolution. First-rank countries will remain ahead (one circumstance of the First Divergence). In a Malthusian world, land is one of the main factors determining warfare. The more land a person has, the more per capita output will increase. Consequently, warfare increases because of population pressure decreases. The “iron law of wages,” a theory of Malthus, implies that developing technology does not make people rich, because the extra income increases the population; the population grows faster from the positive shock in the income than the technology can develop. Since the land is a marginal return to labor, it decreases as the population increases. The Malthusian trap can be avoided via more sustainable
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