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How Countries Compete: Strategy, Structure, and Government in the Global Economy Hardcover – March 13, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1422110355 ISBN-10: 1422110354 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (March 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422110354
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422110355
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #703,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Vietor, an academic, argues that government strategy matters in setting the direction and creating the climate for a nation's economic development and profitable private enterprise. Drawing from history, economic analysis, and extensive interviews, he examines different governments' approaches to growth and development leading to success or failure in the context of their unique social, economic, cultural, and historic influences. The author considers the current environment and suggests a future direction for China, India, Japan, Singapore, the U.S., Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa. He explores at length the high growth in Asia; structural adjustments of institutions and other problems in South America, Africa and the Middle East; and deficits, debt, and stagnation in the developed world. He tells us "Riyadh and Mumbai are no longer very far from New York and Brussels, instantaneously [connected] by Internet--a single global economy with increasingly integrated markets, political problems, and social issues." Although all country-risk analysts may not agree with Vietor, he offers a valuable perspective. Mary Whaley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

From the Back Cover

As countries rush to compete in an increasingly globalized arena, government strategy matters more than ever.

Countries around the world are jockeying more fiercely than ever for the markets, technologies, skills, foreign investment, and distribution channels needed to grow their economies and raise their standard of living. In our thoroughly globalized world, the specific strategies of these national governments will wither make-or break-their efforts to drive and sustain growth, reduce poverty, accommodate urbanization, and create jobs.

In How Countries Compete: Strategy, Structure, and Government in the Global Economy, Richard H. K. Vietor shows how governments both set the direction and create the climate for a nation's economic development and profitable private enterprise. Vietor points out that in today's hypercompetitive environment, government invariably provides many of the distinctive advantages that firms need to go head to head with rivals. These advantages include high tax savings and low interest rates for investment, sound property rights and good governance, a workforce, a low rate of inflation, and a rapidly expanding domestic market.

Drawing on history, economic analysis, and interviews with executives and officials around the globe, Vietor provides vivid and insightful examinations of different approaches to government strategy, leading to both success and failure. Separate chapters highlight important countries-including China, India, Japan, Singapore, and the United States, as well as Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Italy-and reveal the unique social, economic, cultural, and historical forces that determine a country's trajectory. Vietor also challenges the widespread notion that in market-driven economies, such as the United States, a strong government can only hinder business success.

A provocative account and a rich resource, How Countries Compete offers potent insights into how the business environment has evolved in crucial nations-and what its trajectory might look like in the future.


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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ulrich Ernst on May 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I expected great things from this book. After all, when your very title takes issue with Paul Krugman ("countries don't compete, firms do"), one counts on intriguing new insights. Alas, not here. It is a collection of very nice, albeit somewhat opinionated capsule economic histories in ten countries, from South Africa to the US. As you move along, you finally realize that countries are not competing with each other. They are "competing to grow," shaped by "four elements of successful economic development: (1) national strategy, (2) economic structure, (3) resource development, and (4) efficient use of resources." The compilation of interesting facts about each particular case can come in handy, but it is very difficult to see how these facts add up to lead to the ten success factors presented at the end of the book: (1) basic property rights, at best temporary fiscal deficits, higher savings and investment rates, strong central banks, sound microeconomic policies, labor market flexibility, avoiding the resource curse (for resource-rich countries), low levels of corruption, an acceptable income distribution, and adequate current balances.

Anyway, it would be a nice little book for reference, but it is marred by what appears to be a dearth of editorial talent over at the folks of Harvard Business School Press. There is Japan going down to "unconditional defeat." (p. 25) In Malaysia, the "majority (5.98 [sic] percent was Malaysian." (p. 41) In China, "the majority of the investment came from expatriot Chinese ..." (presumably still flashing their Super Bowl rings, p. 65) There is reference to a "John" Hopkins University, and the Southern African Development Community is rendered as "South African," and there are incomplete sentences ("The World Bank estimated that SOE productivity was -1.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Luis Etchevers on March 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think it is a very well written book. It has a lot of very interesting and meaningful information on history, economics and countries' social lives.

The author tries to introduce you in a timely fashion on the situational scenario the countries he covers were at a particular point in time, describes the challenges and advantages and how and why they managed to get to where they are.

It is easy to read and highly advisable especially for the ones that haven't had the chance to look at some facts related to some Asian countries.

.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Juan F. Zegers Dominguez on June 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is a great example of the need of undertanding the offering strategy of any entity. Ths includes from countries, retailers, to brands and local products. Just think that Coca-Cola offers just one product!

Francisco Zegers
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alexandre M. Barbosa on March 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A interesting book if you would like understand how countries have developed and became what they are now !
Unfortunately there is no Brasil there as we talk a lot of time about the "BRICS" !
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