Packing up?

As Obama’s second term begins, a slew of dissidents have to make good on their promise to vacate the United States and “move to Australia.” This week, Princeton University Press is publishing a book that suggests it might not be a bad promise to keep. In Why Australia Prospered: The Shifting Sources of Economic Growth, Ian McLean provides the first comprehensive account of how Australia attained the world’s highest living standards within a few decades of European settlement, and how the nation has sustained an enviable level of income to the present. Beginning with the Aboriginal economy at the end of the eighteenth century, Ian McLean argues that Australia’s remarkable prosperity across nearly two centuries was reached and maintained by several shifting factors. These included imperial policies, favorable demographic characteristics, natural resource abundance, institutional adaptability and innovation, and growth-enhancing policy responses to major economic shocks, such as war, depression, and resource discoveries.

Maybe you’re partaking in the exodus of dissent, or you’ve enjoyed a title in the Press’s Economic History of the Western World series, or you would just enjoy adding a brushtroke of Australian history to your day–either way, you should check out the sample chapter here.