As we learned in the previous chapter, the pursuit of economic growth and development as a socially desirable goal is of relatively recent origin, being more-or-less contemporaneous with the rise of capitalism as an economic system. The Industrial Revolution in England in the mid-eighteenth century provides a convenient if somewhat arbitrary date for the emergence of systematic and intellectual interest in understanding how and why economic development occurs. It also marks the emergence of economics-or political economy, as it was called at that time-as a separate sphere of scholarly inquiry. Not at all coincidentally some of the earliest, most distinguished and most enduring thinking about economics and the process of economic development was produced in Great Britain during and following the transition from feudalism to capitalism when long-term economic expansion and rising income per capita first materialized on an extended scale (Maddison 1982).