Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Development Matters

A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World

Thursday, October 4, 2007 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm

Why are some parts of the world so rich and others so poor? Why did the Industrial Revolution--and the unprecedented economic growth that came with it--occur in eighteenth-century England, and not at some other time, or in some other place? Why didn't industrialization make the whole world rich--and why did it make large parts of the world even poorer? In A Farewell to Alms, author Gregory Clark tackles these profound questions and suggests a new and provocative way in which culture--not exploitation, geography, or resources--explains the wealth, and the poverty, of nations.

Gregory Clark, Chair of the Economics Department at the University of California at Davis discussed his new book, and CGD discussants Nancy Birdsall, Michael Clemens, and David Wheeler offered remarks. Lawrence MacDonald, Director of Communications and Policy, moderated the discussion.


Event transcript coming soon!

"Clark's idea-rich book may just prove to be the next blockbuster in economics. He offers us a daring story of the economic foundations of good institutions and the climb out of recurring poverty. We may not have cracked the mystery of human progress, but A Farewell to Alms brings us closer than before."--Tyler Cowen, New York Times

This event is part of the Center for Global Development's series of
Movies, Books, and Conversations: Development Matters