Widening economic inequalities across the globe today can be understood as the historical consequences of different drivers of growth. This important new text examines the proximate factors of labour, capital and productivity across a range of countries, as well as deeper explanations, from geographical and cultural factors, to colonialism, institutions and the openness of markets and borders. It considers these variables, their effects on rates of growth, and how differing rates of growth will enhance or constrain a country's development. The author makes the case that long-standing inequalities between countries should be the primary focus for academic study, and that development plans should be produced on a case-by-case basis, reflecting the individual circumstances of countries and regions. Using a wide range of historical and contemporary examples, he highlights the blind spots and assumptions that are liable to compromise the priorities and actions of policy-makers, and provides a route towards effective economic reform and sustained development.