Seeding prosperity

[This article was published in the IPA Review]


In the two centuries after 1500, the educated elite of Western Europe began embracing a culture of growth. Scholars and scientists came to believe that continued economic progress was achieved through the virtuous pursuit of knowledge, judging new ideas on evidence rather than ancient wisdom. This change began to manifest in the ‘upper tail human capital’ of a small segment of society before filtering down to the masses. The enduring march towards global prosperity was initially pushed by pioneering ‘cultural entrepreneurs’, according to a new book by distinguished economic historian Joel Mokyr, A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy. Continue reading