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Why Australia ProsperedThe Shifting Sources of Economic Growth$
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Ian W. McLean

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154671

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154671.001.0001

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What Is to Be Explained, and How

What Is to Be Explained, and How

(p.11) Chapter 2 What Is to Be Explained, and How
Why Australia Prospered

Ian W. McLean

Princeton University Press

This chapter sets out the evidence of Australia's economic prosperity, covering the entire era of European settlement, and includes comparisons with the performance of other selected countries. Particular attention is paid to alternative measures of prosperity, their relationships to one another, and their limitations. As a first step toward the explanation of this evidence, the chapter reviews existing suggestions as to what are likely the most important determinants of Australia's levels of productivity and living standards. It also analyzes several literatures of relevance, especially those on Australian history, comparative economic history, and growth economics—both theoretical and empirical. The chapter argues that the determinants of this prosperity are pertinent to any accounting for the variation across time in Australia's average level of income.

Keywords:   Australia, economic prosperity, European settlement, productivity, living standards, growth economics, income level

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