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Pop Internationalism Paperback – February 7, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 237 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; New edition edition (February 7, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262611333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262611336
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,050,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A collection of essays about international trade seems destined to be a snoozer, but Paul Krugman, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, somehow manages to write about an arcane subject in a lively manner that is actually entertaining. Krugman contends that many who are famed as experts on world trade actually misunderstand the subject completely, and he provides a startling commentary on some notables, from Lester Thurow to Ross Perot. Yet Krugman comes not merely to destroy; a reader can gain from his essays some real insight into economics, not to mention which economic commentators know their stuff.

From Publishers Weekly

PW hailed these "stimulating, maverick essays" from the controversial Stanford economist.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Every student in economics should read Krugman's books.
richard@fox.nstn.ca
Modern writing on economics is awash in charlatans and cranks, and Krugman dispenses with them in a way to set the standard.
Michael J. Hicks
He tries to write for the common man, and is writing is very well expressed, intelligent, yet readible by most.
Paul David Lampe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Hicks on May 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
I am an economics professor, and find this book an absolutely fantastic antidote to the alarmist crap (and dogmatic resistance to inconvenient facts) offered by foes of international trade. This book is easy to read and digest, and the data and ideas Krugman presents so clearly do not require any economic education beyond the ordinary undergraduate level. I hearitly recommend the book to anyone dazzled by fears of China or threats to U.S. manufacturing.

Easily the most entertaining part of this book is Krugman's treatment of Lester Thurow, Paul Kennedy and others who spent the 1990's extending wooly headed thinking to its local maximum. Modern writing on economics is awash in charlatans and cranks, and Krugman dispenses with them in a way to set the standard.

I re-read this book every few years and recommend it to all my grad students in economics as an example of communicating ideas with simple elegance.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Carl A. Redman on December 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am no expert on economics, having only taken basic classes in college, but Paul Krugman SEEMS right in his book "Pop Internationalism." Krugman, the op-ed columnist for the New York Times and Slate magazine and also a professor at Princeton University, published this collection of essays, articles, and speeches back in 1996.
Perhaps the publishing date brings about the only weakness, as much of the talk seems less appropriate for today's economy. But the reviews of old topics like NAFTA and the Eastern economy is still good information, and presented clearly and concisely.
Krugman put this collection together to inform people of the latest trend of beliefs in international economics, a trend that is dead wrong in Krugman's eyes. And so we have his term of "pop internationalism."
The basic idea of pop internatiolism is that the U.S. does not depend on international trade as much as the "experts" portray. Very little of our GNP is actually in exports, and we are seemingly doing just fine as the world market becomes more "global." Krugman is so concise in this point that many of the essays actually repeat the point over and over. This is okay though (at least for me), because I understood it better reading it again.
The book is a quick read, and is divided into four secions: A Zero-Sum World, Economic Theory -- Good and Bad, The Emerging World, and Technology and Society.
As far as Krugman being correct in his economic thinking, get back to me after I read some of the "pop internaitionalism" literature from the likes of Reich and Thurow.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Enrique Maroto on September 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book in the sense that it helps non economists see the truth about the effects of trade on the Economy. Normally, people tend to overestimate the effects of trade treaties such as NAFTA on the U.S. economy and Krugman helps you understand why this isn't true. Common knowledge normally doesn't coincide with economic truth and people are mislead by such things as trade wars between mayor superpowers or trade wars between develop and developing nations. Krugman has the ability of explaing such glamorous issues in layman's terms and that's why this book is great.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Hempton on December 29, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This is a very good book and I will buy copies for several friends who speak the most eggregious crap about economics. But for a trained economist much of it should not be a surprise. The first half of the book is a background in basic trade theory for non-economists. Being an economist by training I thought this was a touch repetitive but basically solid. The second half contained some startling essays applying the first half items to real world problems. In this part Krugman tears apart the current "orthodoxy" on "National Competitiveness". GOOD STUFF AND OVERDUE. The reveiw of Laura Tyson's "who is bashing whom" is particularly good. But if you understood your second year trade theory books then there should be nothing too much new here. And the repetition (aimed at non-economists) will bug you somewhat.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 4, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have an interest in the field of economics, this book is likely to leave the mark on you. Concepts like "competitiveness" and "trade policy" (just to mention a few) won't look the same to you after you have finished reading the book. Actually, this book can serve as a gateway to the field of International Economics, as it can open your mind and spur your thoughts and interest on the subject. So far, in my limited experience, the most successfully written book from Krugman. Being made by an economist, it is most likely to be appreciated by readers with some background in economics. A "must" for students and ... politicians (yes!).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tot1 on August 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Much like Sour Punch candy, the collection of essays had me winching against the sour, then settling into a disturbed, sweet appreciation. Clearly Krugman was not a Reagan fan. Clearly he was not a fan of the Clinton Economic Team. Clearly he was not a fan of most of the popular economic thought of the 80s or 90s - he freely disses Thurow and Reich and only gives a "C" to Laura Tyson.

The winching sour personal attacks, attacking both the theory and the theorist, will continue the popular impression of the "two-handed" economist - unable to construct reliable models, unable to construct reliable predictions, and unable to learn and adjust because of their religious devotion to academic dogma. Krugman paints his opposition with a broad brush, managing to spill plenty on himself.

The best essay is Technology's Revenge which was published in 1994. A key idea is income inequality as "fractal" (p. 199) with wide ranges inside of a profession.Sherwin Rosen proposed this "superstar" hypothesis, a likely precursor to the "personal branding" that is all the rage in 2011. Competency gains little reward, superstars will reap the lion's share. Krugman uses this point to lever the pursuit of higher education above luxury and into necessity. (p 201). Then he states that technology will allow the less skilled to be productive. The lawyer, the accountant and the skilled professional will be replaced by technology, while the average service provider (janitors, plumbers, etc.) will persist.

Dear Lord, there is plenty of demand, but no supply, for a one-handed economist.

Economists seem to have a hard time with adjectives.
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More About the Author

Paul Krugman is the recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics. He writes a twice-weekly op-ed column for the New York Times and a blog named for his 2007 book "The Conscience of a Liberal." He teaches economics at Princeton University. His books include "The Accidental Theorist," "The Conscience of a Liberal," "Fuzzy Math," "The Great Unraveling," "Peddling Prosperity," and two editions of "The Return of Depression Economics," both national bestsellers.

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