Wednesday, May 26, 2004
What I am reading

I just finished a book on third world economic development entitled "Kicking Away the Ladder" by Ha-Joon Chang. It's thesis was that developed countries are "kicking away the ladder" that they themselves used to become developed by advocating economic policies contrary to how they themselves developed historically. It basically advocates high import tariffs to protect industries within the developing country as well as other activist policies by the state. It was very interesting, although I am not sure if I agree with some of the conclusions he draws.

I am now reading a book that was just published by Jagdish Bhagwati entitled "In Defense of Globalization". I am just starting it so I don't have a summary or opinion yet on it but the first couple chapters have been very good. His opinion is that economic globalization (he does not discuss cultural globalization) overall is generally a force for good as it has beneficial effects on poverty, child labor, women's rights, democracy, wage and labor standards, and the environment. There is also an amusing anecdote on the WTO protests in Seattle where he was unable to find anybody that had a coherent message backed up with facts in the throng of protesters. As I was at that protest as an observer, I remember asking several people why they were there and what they were protesting against and nobody really knew. Anyway, I will let you know how the book turns out.


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