Entrepreneurship, knowledge and employment

In search of economic prosperity: Wealth and poverty in some XIX Century novels

Galindo-Martin Miguel-Ángel, University of Castilla-La Mancha
Méndez-Picazo María-Teresa, University Complutense of Madrid

During 19th Century mostly countries experienced an important economic growth that supplied many opportunities to individuals to improve their situation through businesses. From economic point of view, economists analyze the main factors that can help countries to be wealthier and thanks to it more businesses opportunities are created. In general terms, nature, technology and labour have been the most relevant factors considered in their analysis. In this sense, they have stressed the macro analysis to study the ways to reduce poverty not taking special care about how individuals try to get a higher wealth. Writers also offer their view about this evolution and their writings can be set in two main groups: macroeconomic novels that show different ways to create wealth in countries. In this group Balzac, Jules Verne, Morris and Bellamy novels can be included. And microeconomic, that includes those novels that consider the individuals behavior to improve their situation trying to reduce their poverty. In this sense businessman and speculators activities must be considered. The goal of the paper is to analyse both aspects, that is, macroeconomic and microeconomic points of view, that is, on the one hand, the way in which Nations created wealth by reducing the levels of poverty existing and on the other hand, the way in which individuals try to improve their situation, carrying out an activity that allows them to enrich. To develop the study the main 19th Century novels are considered in different countries (Balzac, Zola, Sue, Dickens, Gaskell, Thackeray, Trollope, Twain, among others) as well as some philosophical aspects.


Keywords: Poverty, Wealth, Literature, Novels

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