The article presents an overview of the international debate about the factors of the economic growth in early-modern Europe and during the Industrial Revolution. It focuses on researches dealing with technology, institutions, the Malthusian model, energy, estimates of GNP growth, explaining that according to most of recent historiography - though not to all - the industrial revolution was not an unexpected change but the acceleration of already-existing dynamics. This view has been challenged by California school, which has emphasized the "surprising resemblances" between Europe and Asia, claiming that the "Great Divergence" didn’t take place before the Nineteenth century, and leading scholars towards a more comparative and global historical perspective. Nevertheless, the latest researches has confirmed that divergence between East and West had his roots in the early-modern European expansion, in its institutions, scientific and technical culture, and in the increasing specialization of its economy.
Keywords: Economic growth; early-modern Europe; industrial revolution; historiographical debate; California School; great divergence