Qty:1
  • List Price: $19.00
  • Save: $0.95 (5%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Power And Prosperity: Out... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Underlining on about ninety pages. Minor wear.
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Power And Prosperity: Outgrowing Communist And Capitalist Dictatorships Paperback – November 20, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0465051960 ISBN-10: 0465051960

Buy New
Price: $18.05
35 New from $12.98 30 Used from $3.05
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$18.05
$12.98 $3.05
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Get Up to 80% Back When You Sell Us Your Books
$18.05 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Power And Prosperity: Outgrowing Communist And Capitalist Dictatorships + The Rise and Decline of Nations: Economic Growth, Stagflation, and Social Rigidities + The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups, Second printing with new preface and appendix (Harvard Economic Studies)
Price for all three: $64.33

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (November 20, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465051960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465051960
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #438,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Olson, whose Logic of Collective Action stands as a landmark work of political economy, died in 1998 before putting the finishing touches on this book. As it stands, it serves as an appropriate coda to Olson's long and productive career, summarizing his major achievements while still contributing new insights to the post-communist debates. As he grapples with the forces that undermine economic vitality, Olson worries over a central question: Why has economic performance been so much better after the defeat of fascism in Germany and Japan than after the collapse of communism in Soviet-style states? In probing this question, Olson examines the complex relationships between the role of the state and economic performance, arguing that "there is no way of explaining the extreme poverty of many nations without taking account of the extent to which they are misgoverned." The lay reader will easily grasp Olson's broad and practical--if not especially vivid--discussions, and specialists will value his excellent analyses of the economic machinations of Soviet-type autocracies, including a fine reading of Stalin's diabolical manipulation of Russia's tax structures. As the world attempts to salvage what's left of the post-communist economies, it must contend with disablingly high rates of inflation and inefficient, state-owned businesses. The challenge ahead is not merely to hasten privatization, Olson says. Instead, economists must work to ensure that a "market-augmenting government" first secures individual rights to private property and guarantees the impartial enforcement of contracts--in his view the two essential ingredients for prosperity. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Power and Prosperity is an important book, written with clarity and verve. It is a great misfortune that Mancur Olson is not here to respond to the debates that it will surely provoke." The Wall Street Journal

Customer Reviews

Olson's use of language is quite outstanding.
Benjamin Rossen
Olson deals with how formal institutions in society were created to provide things like public goods and secure trade and commerce.
Neel Aroon
And this book should be read by all persons interested in Economics.
Crosslands

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By D. W. MacKenzie on December 8, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Power and Prosperity is an example of economics at its best. First of all, it takes a balanced or neutral approach to its subject matter. The author is not out to prove the superiority of either markets or government. Governmental power is a double edged sword to Olson. Government power promotes prosperity by restraining 'roving bandits' or special interests. Government power is also susceptible to the influence of special interests. Olson also discusses the merits and faults of markets. Markets are ubiquitous and can lead to prosperity, but often do not. Government has a role in this. That is, he finds blame for this in the most negative aspects of government. Olson does not assume market efficiency either. He explains it, as well as some possible limitations to markets.

This is also a highly insightful book. Much of his analysis derives from his earlier work on "the logic of collective action'. He also uses some transaction costs and basic supply and demand/substitution effect reasoning to explain historical events. Students in my comparative classes had more trouble with this book than any other, but it is still manageable. Reading it might be difficult for those who lack an education in economics. But I am not sure if there is an easier way to say what it says, and what it says is most interesting. The concepts the author employs makes a greater understanding of different economic systems and historical periods possible. This is penetrating analysis.

It is also highly relevant. Much of this book focuses on the Soviet Union. One could say that the USSR is a done deal- it failed so forget about it. It is, however, important to understand why it failed so as to avoid repeating such errors in the future.
Read more ›
9 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Willem Noe on April 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
As a young student I found Olson's 'Rise and Decline of Nations' a very interesting and well-written book. Recently, as an eonomist on international economic relations 15 years further down the road I picked up this book and again was caught by the clear writing and the compelling reasoning. I recently taught a graduate course on East European economic conversion and I would have put this book on the reading list if I had read it earlier. I think the text is sometimes a bit too pat and I would have liked to see more empirical evidence. On the other hand, Olson does make a good case for his theory and I like the hopeful message it conveys. His emphasis on the importance of institution building in economic and social development I think is correct. This is certainly one of the more interesting books I have read on the subject. Recommended!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
38 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I read about this book in the Wall Street Journal and then snapped up a copy. Olson writes so clearly and accessibly that you almost don't realize you're reading a book about economics. Highly recommended for people interested in the future of the world economy and world politics.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Gregory N. Hullender on April 22, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Why are all the rich countries in the world capitalist democracies? Isn't a dictator the best way to turn around a country in economic trouble? Why did Germany and Japan grow so fast after the end of World War II? Why have Russia and the Warsaw Pact countries done so poorly after the end of the Cold War? And what should the rich, successful, First-World countries do to enjoy continuing prosperity?
Olson's only book written for the general public, "Power and Prosperity" addresses all these questions and more, in well-written prose, fairly free of economic jargon, and filled with easy-to-follow examples. Not too long, at less than 200 pages excluding the notes, any educated layman should have no trouble getting through the whole thing.
The book primarily focuses on how governments use and abuse power and the impact that has on economics. In particular, Olson hypothesizes a "second invisible hand" as a partner to Adam Smith's famous invisible hand of the marketplace. Olson's invisible hand represents the unintentional good that even the most selfish regimes accidentally do for the public in the process of maximizing the good of the rulers. (E.g. the King fights bandits because they reduce the take from his taxes, but he only does this up to his own point of diminishing returns.) Apparently original with Olson, this idea earned him a prominent place in academia, and it's impressive to see how far he can take it.
So if you have any interest in politics and economics, by all means read this book. Even if you don't agree with it all, the ideas in it are priceless. Skip Charles Cadwell's foreword though; it's dry and dull and doesn't add much to the book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By J. Michael Showalter on August 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Essentially, this is Mancur Olson's most accessible work. It is fairly current and doesn't seem to fall off into political economy esoteria. It explains problems such that anyone can understand them. BUT Olson breaks no new ground here. It is a shame that he died before the book was published-- I am fairly certain that it might have benefitted from some additional shepherding....
If you have read The Rise and Decline of States and The Logic of Collective Action, save your money on this book. If you have not, nor plan to, and want a good synopsis of Olson's message (and a fairly good read too.... for a professor!) check this book out....
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Power And Prosperity: Outgrowing Communist And Capitalist Dictatorships
This item: Power And Prosperity: Outgrowing Communist And Capitalist Dictatorships
Price: $18.05
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com