To record some good literatures on economic history for check later.
First is VincentGeloso proposes a list of ten papers/works that need to be read (in my opinion) by anyone interested in economic history.
- Higgs, Robert. “Wartime Prosperity? A Reassessment of the US Economy in the 1940s.” Journal of Economic History 52, no. 01 (1992): 41-60.
- Allen, Robert C. The British industrial revolution in global perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
- Broadberry, Stephen, Bruce MS Campbell, Alexander Klein, Mark Overton, and Bas Van Leeuwen. British economic growth, 1270–1870. Cambridge University Press, 2015.
- Chilosi, David, Tommy E. Murphy, Roman Studer, and A. Coşkun Tunçer. “Europe’s many integrations: Geography and grain markets, 1620–1913.” Explorations in Economic History 50, no. 1 (2013): 46-68.
- Olmstead, Alan L., and Paul W. Rhode. Creating Abundance. Cambridge Books (2008).
- Carlos, Ann M., and Frank D. Lewis. Commerce by a frozen sea: Native Americans and the European fur trade. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.
- Floud, Roderick, Robert W. Fogel, Bernard Harris, and Sok Chul Hong. The changing body: Health, nutrition, and human development in the western world since 1700. Cambridge University Press, 2011.
- De Vries, Jan. The industrious revolution: consumer behavior and the household economy, 1650 to the present. Cambridge University Press, 2008.
- Anderson, Terry Lee, and Peter Jensen Hill. The not so wild, wild west: Property rights on the frontier. Stanford University Press, 2004.
- Vedder, Richard K., and Lowell E. Gallaway. Out of work: unemployment and government in twentieth-century America. NYU Press, 1997.
Then Mark Koyama posted his list:
1. Greg Clark’s A Farewell to Alms (though I totally disagree with it, it really grabbed me)
2. Peter Temin’s Roman Market Economy
3. Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein’s The Choosen Few
4. Douglass North, John Wallis, and Barry Weingast’s Violence and Social Orders
5. Ken Pomeranz’s The Great Divergence
- Allen, The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective
- Clark, A Farewell to Alms
- Clark, The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility
- De Vries, The Industrious Revolution: Consumer Culture and the Household Economy, 1650-present
- (added late) Engerman & Sokoloff, Economic Development in the Americas since 1500
- Federico, Feeding the World: An Economic History of Agriculture, 1800-2000
- Findlay & O’Rourke, Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium
- Galor, Unified Growth Theory
- Gat, War in Human Civilization
- Greif, Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade
- Kuran, The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East
- Lee & Feng, One Quarter of Humanity: Malthusian Mythology and Chinese Realities, 1700-2000
- Lieberman, Strange Parallels (2 volumes)
- Mokyr, The Enlightened Economy: An Economic History of Britain 1700-1850
- Mitterauer, Why Europe? The Medieval Origins of its Special Path
- North, Wallis & Weingast, Violence & Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History
- O’Rourke & Williamson, Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy
- Pomeranz, The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy
- Seabright, The Company of Strangers: The Natural History of Economic Life
- Smil, Vaclav (several)
- Temin, The Roman Market Economy
- Tooze, The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy
- Turchin & Nefedov, Secular Cycles
- Ward-Perkins, The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization
- Williamson, Trade and Poverty: How the Third World Fell Behind
Moreover, he also has a bigger Economic History Books page, which is intended to be a list of survey & reference books for the economic history of particular regions or countries. The following is the Japan and China part.
The very very recent The Economic History of China (2016) by Glahn has no equivalent. There is no other book at the moment which simultaneously contains a readable narrative of the full sweep of Chinese economic history; and reflects recent scholarship both Chinese and international; and covers the major themes and controversies of the historiography in the manner of Elvin’s The Patterns of the Chinese Past (which is now quasi-ancient but still worth reading). Glahn’s book might have dealt a little bit more with the controversies surrounding the revisionism of Pomeranz’s The Great Divergence, which really changed the terms of the debate. But I’m cavilling.
An older overview is Perkins, Agricultural Development in China 1368-1968. Slightly idiosyncratic choice: Bray’s The Rice Economies: Technology & Development in Asian Societies. Lee & Feng, One Quarter of Humanity: Malthusian Mythology and Chinese Realities, 1700-2000 is a demographic and family history of China. Rawski’s Chinese History in Economic Perspective is much more limited in scope than it sounds, but at least it’s free online !
Given Japan’s status as the premier non-Western late industrialiser, there should be more books on Japan’s economic development with updated research. An ideal volume would start from the late Tokugawa period with Japan’s own version of the “industrious revolution” and the Meiji Restoration. It should also cover not only Japan’s pre-war industrialisation but also assessments of Japan’s post-war industrial policy and state planning (as described by Chalmers Johnson). Some books with various shortcomings:
- Macpherson, The Economic Development of Japan 1868-1941 (1995)
- Alexander, The Arc of Japan’s Economic Development (2007)
- Mosk, Japanese Economic Development: Markets, Norms, Structures (2008)
- Francks, Japanese Economic Development (1999) is probably the least analytical and the most descriptive/qualitative of the four.