Western economic historians have traditionally concentrated on the success stories of major developed economies, while development economists have given most of their attnetion to the problems of the Third World. The authors of this pioneering work study a part of Europe neglected by both approaches. Modernizing patterns in Balkan economic history are traced from the sixteenth century (when the territory was shared by Ottoman and Habsburg empires), through the nineteenth century (when they emerged as independent states), to the end of World War II and its aftermath. Despite present differences in economic systems-Greece's private market economy, Yugoslavia's planned market economy, and the centrally planned economies of Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania-the authors find that shared origins and common subsequent experiences are ample justifications for treating the area as an economic unit. Balkan Economic History, 1550-1950 will be a major case study for development economists and will provide historians with the first analytical and statistical study to survey the entire region from the start of the early modern period.