Not so sure about the work ethic. Asia would surely be top? I’d also say that Europe has a very long coastline, which would be economically superior to many. Reading Barry Cunliffe at the moment. 3 great books on Europe.
Ferguson’s are necessary, not sufficient, causes. The sufficient cause was the desire to impose a western order on the world. Desire for trade monopolies drove western intrusion into non western worlds. Ferguson calls this competition but he is not sufficiently precise.