La risposta arriva direttamente da Daron Acemoglu del MIT, probabilmente il migliore studioso di problemi Applied al mondo:
My explanation for that is very much linked to the origins of economic growth. In the same way that you needed certain institutional preconditions for growth to take off in Western Europe, we also needed the same kind of preconditions for these available technologies to be spread and adopted and used in different countries.
So, in the United States, those conditions were broadly met in the sense that it had a fairly open political system and no big land owners or existing economic interest that could block the adoption of existing technologies. And what’s remarkable in some sense about the United States in the 19th century is that it is a very active bubbling economic environment.
You have people from all walks of life coming into the economic arena with new ideas, new processes. And if you look at the pattern of statistics, you have just a very wide cross section of individuals tinkering with new machines and trying to open their own businesses and all of that.
So, if you compare that to somewhere even closer to the kind of the center of gravity of economic activity during that time in the United Kingdom with somewhere like say Austria-Hungary, you see a very different picture. So Austria-Hungary of course was a very different political system, a very strong monarchy. And the monarchy, actually rather than embracing the new technologies, was very much opposed to it. It didn’t want to allow railways; it didn’t want manufacturing to spread very much in the Austrian part of the country.
Nota a margine: nell’intervista Acemoglu parla spesso dell’importanza del modello di crescita di Solow, che tutti hanno studiato TRANNE l’intervistatore (l’intervista è stata condotta in audio e poi riportata su vox) dato che trascrive il modello come “solo Model” e non “Solow Model” 😀