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The Invisible Hand?How Market Economies have Emerged and Declined Since AD 500$
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Bas van Bavel

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199608133

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608133.001.0001

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Markets in Modern States: England, the United States, and Western Europe, 1500–2000

(p.208) 5 Epilogue
The Invisible Hand?

Bas van Bavel

Oxford University Press

Both early modern England and the United States were characterized by a large degree of freedom and equality, generated by a series of revolts. In this open, balanced context, factor markets developed to become dominant by the mid-sixteenth and early nineteenth century, respectively. This went along with economic growth, but also with growing wealth inequality. For the first time in history, these market cores interacted intensively with each other and with areas in other stages of market development, most notably with Western Europe. In the first half of the twentieth century, this led to a halt, or even a temporary reversal, of the growth of inequality in both countries, but after the mid-twentieth century, developments resumed again. Western Europe and the United Kingdom were brought in sync with the American cycle, characterized by market dominance, expanding capital markets and debts, growing wealth inequality, and the dominance of market elites.

Keywords:   England, Glorious Revolution, land markets, equity, American Revolution, market revolution, economic growth, financial markets, global capitalism

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