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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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The Shifting Bases of Prosperity

The Shifting Bases of Prosperity

(p.246) Chapter 10 The Shifting Bases of Prosperity
Why Australia Prospered

Ian W. McLean

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses how there are two recurring central themes when reflecting on why Australia was, and remains, so rich. First, the interactions between the principal determinants of growth have been more important to the outcomes than the role of any one factor—such as investment, institutions, or resources. Second, it is precisely due to the shifting basis of its prosperity that Australia has managed to sustain its status as a rich economy over so long a period and despite numerous negative shocks. Within the resources sector, the shifts have been between farming and mining; as well as among a range of foodstuffs, fibers, minerals, and energy sources. And for part of the twentieth century, when commodity-based prosperity proved elusive, manufacturing played a supporting role.

Keywords:   Australia, economic growth, prosperity, shifting basis, rich economy, farming, mining, energy sources, manufacturing

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