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Global Trade and Conflicting National Interests (Lionel Robbins Lectures) Hardcover – January 22, 2001


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The church of global free trade, which rules American politics with infallible pretensions, may have finally met its Martin Luther. An unlikely dissenter has come forward with a revised understanding of globalization that argues for thorough reformation. This man knows the global trading system from the inside because he is a respected veteran of multinational business. His ideas contain an explosive message: that what established authorities teach Americans about global trade is simply wrong disastrously wrong for the United States." William Greider The Nation



"This book is a gem and reads like a thriller. John McDonald was a superb business writer who combined an innate understanding of context with an appreciation of strategy. The book should be read by all who are concerned with business reporting, business, and legal advice."--Martin Shubik, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University

About the Author

William J. Baumol is Professor of Economics at New York University and Director of the university's C. V. Starr Center for Applied Economics.
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Product Details

  • Series: Lionel Robbins Lectures
  • Hardcover: 215 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 1st edition (January 22, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262072092
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262072090
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,320,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By "lavarry" on April 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Don't be put off by the title. This book should be called "Trade for Dummies." The authors kindly start where most of us left off in Econ 101 - with comparative advantage. We all remember that nature endowed England with a comparative advantage in wool, and Portugal in wine, so that this trade was an obviously good thing.
But what about today's vastly more complex economy where considerations go far beyond the mere geography of natural resource distribution? What about the role of industrialization? Or technology? Or information? Who has what advantage? And how to measure it? The authors have solved this seemingly daunting task, and present their conclusions in a few simple graphs that could fit easily onto Mr. Laffer's napkin.
How do I know that they solved the problem of reducing all the complexities of international trade to a few simple graphs? Well, I really don't know because I am not enough of an economist or mathematician to follow the technical stuff, but the authors very kindly put all that in the second half of this slim volume as kind of an appendix for the professionals. That the two authors are a leading economist and a leading mathematician is obvious from the brief biographies. And that the work passes professional muster is obvious from the blurbs. So while I can't personally check the authors' assumptions and methodology, I can accept and fully understand their conclusions as set forth in the first half of the book - the only part I read.
Not surprisingly, the graphs show that most international trade is indeed mutually beneficial. But not all. The graphs also reveal what the authors call a zone of conflict. It is to this area that attention needs to be paid. What attention do the authors suggest? Well, they are a little coy.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Gomory and Baumol are two heavy-weights from the world of Economics, Industry and Mathematics who have made use of a lifetime's worth of observations to create a new theory of international trade. Their work is truely original, theoretically rigorous, and highly applicable to real-world problems: A powerful combination. As a graduate student in economics, I have found few books so compelling.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
These 73 pages kept this layman engrossed and enlightened. You learn why World Peace through World Trade ain't necessarily so, but can be a win-win situation for nations who understand the theory of the Global Trade game.
In cogent and concise language,the two gifted authors upset the notion that a dollar of National Trading Income is indifferent to what is being traded. National Trading Income from a "retainable" industry like computer chips produce strategic strengths for a nation compared to the same amount of National Trading Income from potato chips.
This new vector on Global Trade alerts business leaders to rearrange intellectually their risk-reward equation to secure a more favorable outcome.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "seahill" on April 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover
A must read book for anyone with an interest in International Trade. Gomory and Baumol take an insightful look into trade in this era of multinational companies, expanded trade and developing countries. They develop a technique to determine whether a trade decision is mutually beneficial (or detrimental) to the parties. While no "magic" formula to precisely determine the benefits of an individual trade decision, at least there is a cogent framework to start from.
As a lay reader it was apparent that to assure our continued growth and successes that we must continually innovate to create the next big retainable industry as well as continue productivity gains to compete with low wage developing countries in easy to enter industries where we have a major interest.
An exceptionally thorough analysis of today's world of trade.
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Global Trade and Conflicting National Interests (Lionel Robbins Lectures)
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