Today the gap between rich and poor nations is larger than it has ever been in recorded history. Yet the economic hegemony of Europe was unanticipated in the 15th century when Europeans seemed no more advanced than their eastern counterparts. This collection of papers places present development problems in historical perspective, drawing on European experience to determine what characterized the growth of the world's first industrialized continent. Topics discussed in this volume include the influence of late fertility on economic development, the roots of Latin American backwardness, economic growth in Central and Eastern Europe since 1870, macro-economic populism and economic failure in Africa since 1960, trade and exchange rate liberalization, and the impact of technology and capital market development in a divided world. This book offers a perspective on the development process in which authors relate historical work to the current problems of the Third World. While these papers are not soley anchored in the European past, they recognise that some positive things can be gleaned from Europe's historical experience.