New research led by economists at the University of Warwick reveals that medieval England was not only far more prosperous than previously believed, it also actually boasted an average income that would be more than double the average per capita income of the world’s poorest nations today.
In a paper entitled British Economic Growth 1270-1870 published by the University of Warwick’s Centre on Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) the researchers find that living standards in medieval England were far above the “bare bones subsistence” experience of people in many of today’s poor countries.
This new figure of $1,000 is not only significantly higher than previous estimates for that period in England – it also indicates that on average medieval England was better off than some of the world’s poorest nations today
The research shows that the path to the Industrial Revolution began far earlier than commonly has been understood. A widely held view of economic history suggests that the Industrial Revolution of 1800 suddenly took off, in the wake of centuries without sustained economic growth or appreciable improvements in living standards in England from the days of the hunter-gatherer. By contrast, we find that the Industrial Revolution did not come out of the blue. Rather, it was the culmination of a long period of economic development stretching back as far as the late medieval period
Mode Doubling Date Began Doubles Doubles Transition Grows Time (DT) To Dominate of DT of WP CES Power ---------- --------- ----------- ------ ------- ---------- Brain size 34M yrs 550M B.C. ? "16" ? Hunters 224K yrs 2000K B.C. 7.3 8.9 ? Farmers 909 yrs 4856 B.C. 7.9 7.6 2.4 Industry 6.3 yrs 2020 A.D. 7.2 >9.2 0.094
The Medieval England (1500-1730) doubling period was 100 years.
From 1730-1910 doubling period was 58 years.
From 1910-2010 there has been a doubling period of about 15 years.
The 15 year doubling time is 4.7-4.8% GDP growth. An improvement of doubling time by 3-5 times would indicate another level of progress that is line with the long term historic trend.
A pre-singularity phase with two doublings at a more modest improvement level would be to the 9-12% per year growth level that China is experiencing. Technology could enable that level for the entire world. Then 15% for 3-4 doublings and then 20-25% for the singularity level.
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