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I was more thinking of how a country works with core and periphery.

As to why the peripheral countries can not imitate what happened around 1900, I am not sure, but I would note the following clues:

  1. There was a depopulation of the peripheral countries, but in the middle of a population boom. The move mostly went outside Europe in search for cheap land.
  2. Regulatory freedom existed on another level. No EU rules, no WTO rules, few conventions. Peripheral countries could and did shamelessly copy everything found worth copying. Lars Magnus Ericsson founded an empire on copying the telephone.
  3. Not all peripheral countries industrialised in 1830-1920. Which did except Sweden? Switzerland? Netherlands and other colonial powers were the core of their own systems.

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by A swedish kind of death on Sat Dec 25th, 2010 at 11:28:55 AM EST
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Pretty much all of Scandinavia industrialised between 1870 and 1914. That's where the big catch-up happened for Germany as well.

And indeed intellectual property laws were, back then, usually purely national, as opposed to the gawds-awful TRIP nonsense that the last WTO round foisted upon us. So tech transfer was much faster and easier for an open economy.

Another point is that the industrial game is simply different today than it was at the previous turn of the century. Except in railroad engineering, the initial capital cost was much lower - well within reach of a handful of business associates with favourable credit records. Today, five lower upper class entrepreneurs couldn't buy a fully modern factory, nevermind staff it long enough to get the first production run finished.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Dec 25th, 2010 at 05:17:06 PM EST
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