The Economics of Empire


In the Media

Len Shackleton quoted in The Sunday Express


Matthew Bowles writes for CapX

Kristian Niemietz writes for CapX

IEA Head of Political Economy Kristian Niemietz has written for CapX discussing the economics of imperialism and addressing the myth that industrial market economies are firmly rooted in European colonialism.

Kristian wrote:

“Why did the Industrial Revolution start in Northwestern Europe? Why did the West industrialise so much earlier than the rest of the world?

“Most economists would argue that this happened because the West developed a set of institutions that were uniquely conducive to economic growth, especially the rule of law, secure property rights, impartial and effective legal systems, and freedom of contract.

“The more fashionable explanation, though, is that the West grew rich on the basis of colonial plunder and exploitation.

“Most imperialist projects were, most likely, net loss makers. Imperialism was a folly which the West could afford because they got other things right, but it was a folly all the same.”

Read Kristian’s full article here or on the IEA Blog.