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The aim of The Handbook of Modern Economic History will be to introduce readers to the key approaches and findings of economic historians who study the modern world. Modern economic history blends two approaches #xE2;#xAC;#x1C; Cliometrics (which focuses on measuring economic variables and explicitly testing theories about the historical performance and development of the economy, as exemplified by the approach of Robert Fogel) and the New Institutional Economics (which focuses on how social, cultural, legal and organizational norms and rules shape economic outcomes and their evolution, as exemplified by the approach of Douglass North). The handbook opens by introducing these approaches and other important methodological issues for economic history. The most fundamental shift in human economic history began about two and a half centuries ago when eons of slow economic change and faltering economic growth gave way to sustained, rapid economic expansion. Part 2 opens by examining this theme and the primary forces economic historians have linked to economic growth and stagnation #xE2;#xAC;#x1C; industrialization, technological change, secure property rights, trade, entrepreneurship, competition, the evolution of government, the biological environment and war. Part 3 examines the evolution of broad economic sectors including agriculture, transportation, energy, natural resources, health care, housing, religion and entertainment while Part 4 is devoted to the all important financial sector and short-term fluctuations in economic activity. The focus of Part 5 on the work force and human outcomes including inequality, labor markets, unions, education, migration, slavery, urbanization, demographic change, aging, the evolving economic roles of women and the African-Americans community with the final section of The Handbook studying the economic histories of individual global regions, with special attention to the United States.