HINDI – The Historical Dynamics of Industrialization in Northwestern Europe and China

Resercher involved: Bas van Leeuwen and Peter Foldvari 

Amazingly little is known about the 19th century Industrial Revolution due to a lack of systematically collected historical data and because of  the fact that until now only developments on national level were studied.

This ERC-funded research project follows a different route –based on the use of datasets- by looking much more accurately  at the developments in European and Chinese regions. The aim is to obtain an understanding of the spread and development of industries and how societies develop economically. The project  does not only  look at the factors that affect these developments, but also at the effects of the pace at which the industrialization process comes about.

For today’s developing economies, these are practical questions they have to deal with. In addition, the research project touches upon the so-called Great Divergence debate in which the central question is how it is that prosperity in Europe from the end of the eighteenth century grew much faster than in China. Expectations are that the results of this study will also help us understand the current spectacular economic growth in China (and the stagnation in Europe) and its impact on global patterns of social inequality

See for more information the HINDI website.