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Journal Article

European Economic Development: The Contribution of the Periphery

Patrick O'Brien
The Economic History Review
New Series, Vol. 35, No. 1 (Feb., 1982), pp. 1-18
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Economic History Society
DOI: 10.2307/2595100
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2595100
Page Count: 18
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European Economic Development: The Contribution of the Periphery
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Abstract

A new school of development history (Wallerstein, Frank, Amin et al) claims that the evolution of international commerce between core and periphery over long cycles of expansion and construction for three centuries after 1450 created conditions which form a significant part of the explanation for the accelerated rate of economic growth experienced by north-western Europe from 1750 onwards. This article attempts to measure the contribution of trade with the periphery for the growth of output and the formation of capital at the core; takes up the issues of supernormal profits and externalities supposedly generated by this trade; explores the impact of imported bullion on the European money supply and concludes: "for the economic growth of the core the periphery was peripheral".

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