chapter  10
Models of growth and stagnation
Pages 30

Viewed from a very broad perspective, the distribution of rewards in the modern world-economy has been incredibly stable over time. Since the full incorporation of all areas of the world into the Europe-dominated world-economy in the late nineteenth century there has been very little change in relative incomes. The richest areas then (Europe and North America) are still rich today and the poorest areas then (Africa, indigenous central America, south and southeast Asia) are still poor today. Coastal China is still somewhere in the middle. Parts of east Asia have become very rich, but the richest part of all-Japan-was alreadymiddle-income in the late nineteenth century. In fact, according to data from Maddison (2010) the correlation of logged national income per capita in 1870 with logged national income per capita in 2008 for the 10 major world regions is a remarkable r = 0.93. There has been virtually no change in relative incomes in over a century of otherwise massive change.