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The Roman Market Economy$
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Peter Temin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691147680

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691147680.001.0001

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Economic Growth in a Malthusian Empire

Economic Growth in a Malthusian Empire

(p.220) Chapter 10 Economic Growth in a Malthusian Empire
The Roman Market Economy

Peter Temin

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines Rome's lack of an industrial revolution. Without this momentous change, Rome was subject to Malthusian pressures that limited its economic growth. Yet Malthusian economies can have economic growth, which means having rising standards of living. The Malthusian theory of population change argues that changes in productivity lead to changes in the size of the population, but leave the level of per capita income. The chapter shows dynamics providing a way to acknowledge growing per capita income in the basically Malthusian world of the early Roman Empire. It also provides a way to ask if the Romans could have escaped the Malthusian constraints.

Keywords:   Rome, industrial revolution, Malthusian theory, population change, productivity, per capita income, Malthusian economies, Roman Empire

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