Asian Economic History
By Arnold Kling
At Gene Expression, the bloggers closely follow what might be called the Pomerantz controversy, after the writer of The Great Divergence, where it is argued that Asia and the West were at similar points of development just prior to the industrial revolution. In one post, Herrick cites two papers by Debin Ma, both of which suggest that real incomes in Asia were far below those found in the leading countries of Europe in the eighteenth century.
In another post, Herrick reviews a book on culture by Eric Jones. Evidently, Jones argues that culture evolves. Thus, like Gregory Clark, Jones believes that culture cannot be a permanent barrier to economic growth. Herrick writes,
Jones and Schneider show that even if you control for “cultural” variables like Confucianism, Islam, or Buddhism, the nation’s average IQ is still a strong predictor of economic performance. High-IQ groups are likely to have some good cultural traits like patience, cooperativeness, and a tendency to agree with economists on the merits of untrammeled competition.
The latter link points to a paper by my co-blogger.