“Why Europe? Because Europe enjoyed a relative lack of political constraint.”
According to the Indian development economist R.M. Sundrum, if we are to understand how development can be promoted in the poorer countries today, we must understand the historical process which transformed developed countries in the past, and why this process failed to take place elsewhere (cited in Arndt 1987, 177). This is the position that P.T. Bauer, too, has insisted upon. Rejecting the “timeless approach” to economic development, Bauer has accentuated the many centuries required for economic growth in the Western world, and the interplay of various cultural factors that were its precondition. Most important, in Bauer’s view, is that in the Western world institutions and values evolved that favored private property and the market, set limits to state arbitrariness and predation, and encouraged innovation and the sense that human beings are capable of improving their lot through their actions on the market.
Read the complete article at The Mises Institute here.
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