Archive for February 24th, 2014

February 24, 2014

Gregory Clark

ancestor by Javier Jaen

Gregory Clark (b. 1957) is an economic historian at UC, Davis. His grandfathers were migrants to Scotland from Ireland, and he was born in Bellshill, Scotland. In 1974 he and a fellow pupil won the ‘Scottish Daily Express’ school debate competition. After school he earned his B.A. in economics and philosophy at King’s College, Cambridge in 1979 and his Ph.D. at Harvard in 1985. He has also taught as an Assistant Professor at Stanford and the University of Michigan. At Davis his areas of research are long term economic growth, the wealth of nations, and the economic history of England and India.

Clark is most well known for his book, ‘A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World.’ He argued that the current divide between rich and poor nations came about as a result of the Industrial Revolution originating in Britain. Prior to 1790, Clark asserts, man faced a Malthusian trap: new technology enabled greater productivity and more food, but was quickly gobbled up by higher populations. In Britain, however, as disease continually killed off poorer members of society, their positions in society were taken over by the sons of the wealthy.

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