Sunday, September 11, 2011

Reading List: "Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius

The current book launch by Sylvia Naser, author of "A Beautiful Mind", is drawing some attention in prominent economic circles. Bloomberg are currently publishing a series of short extracts:

The Beautiful Minds That Created Modern Economics

Webb, Churchill and the Birth of the Welfare State

Keynes, Schumpeter and the Great Post-War Mistake

Fisher, the Crash and ‘Economics of the Whole’

Hayek, Keynes and preventing economic crises

When it comes to economic history there often appear black holes in memory of even recent events let alone those a century or more ago. An interesting chart of the very long term GDP share over some centuries should put the more recent growth in China and India in some perspective.


Many may not be aware that it is only in the last few decades that global trade has reached and surpassed the levels it reached pre- WW1. The export component of GDP in Victorian UK was astounding. A substantial component of more recent growth is in intra-Asian trade. That has correlated with a massive lift out of poverty in China and India. The link above on the 'Great Post-War Mistake' maybe relevant.

On that theme a comment from US liberal Democrat Keynesian Nobel laureate Paul Krugman: "The raw fact is that every successful example of economic development this past century--every case of a poor nation that worked its way up to a more or less decent, or at least dramatically better, standard of living--has taken place via globalization; that is, by producing for the world market rather than trying for self-sufficiency."

Given the overwhelming economic evidence, it becomes a moral question as much as economic? The case for protection and self-sufficiency is self-interested inhumanity?


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