The Great Divergence Continues

In 2000, Kenneth Pomeranz wrote a book arguing that without access to New World natural resources and fortuitously located coal, Europe might have been stuck on a path of development more similar to East Asia, thus greatly attenuating the the “Great Divergence” (this is just the book’s title; the famous phrase is never -not even once- used in the actual book) between (Pomeranz is clear that this is his focus here) the leading parts of Europe and the leading parts of East Asia (and, implicitly, that if the leading parts of East Asia had had these advantages, the divergence might have gone the other way -though the former idea is at least somewhat defensible, the latter is much less so). Though many of the points of the book are wrong -food supply in Europe was

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