WHY CHINA INDUSTRIALIZED AFTER ENGLAND

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Abstract

Although industrialization first occurred in England, it is thought that China, not England, may have been the world leader in technology at the time. Yet, China did not industrialize until 150 yr after England and nearly a century after less advanced European countries. This represents a puzzle because two-sector neoclassical growth models, such as Hansen and Prescott (2002), that accurately match industrialization, require that more technologically advanced countries industrialize at an earlier date. I find that a model that accounts for cross-country heterogeneities in population density accurately predicts the timing of industrialization in China. (JEL F43, N10, N30, O11, O14, O41)

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