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Convergence or Decline on Europe's Southeastern Periphery? Agriculture, Population, and GNP in Bulgaria, 1892–1945

  • Martin Ivanov (a1) and Adam Tooze (a2)

The literature currently offers no consistent narrative about economic development on Europe's southeastern periphery prior to 1945. Did per capita GNP in the Balkans converge with the rest of Europe? We present new GNP estimates for Bulgaria for 1892–1911 and link these with a new degree of precision to the data available for the 1920s. Our data reveal stagnation in per capita GNP from 1879 to the 1930s. But within agriculture we find evidence for a new phase of intensification from the 1920s onwards. The preconditions for growth, sometimes attributed to Communism, were in place well before 1945.

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