Unintended Consequences: The Impact of Factor Endowments, Culture, and Politics on Long-Run Economic Performance, by Deepak Lal (Book Review by David Gordon)

“Lal asks: how did the West, unlike any other culture in history, attain Promethean growth? He finds the answer in large part in a simple fact. The economic transformation “in part stemmed from the political changes that accompanied the slowly rolling Industrial Revolution. Briefly, these tied the hands of governments, stemming if not stifling their predatory instincts. Intensive growth followed. [The economic historian Eric] Jones, for one, believes that intensive growth was always bursting to bubble through but was snuffed out by the “rent seeking” of predatory states. Political changes in the West constrained this predatoriness and unleashed the unbound Prometheus that has transformed the world” (p. 18).”