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One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth Hardcover – October 14, 2007
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"Rodrik packs a great deal into his 260 lucid, cogent pages. Orthodoxies always need serious criticism. Rodrik has supplied it. He has no simple, single recipe for remedying deficient growth--just the eminently sensible advice that there is none--there are many."--Peter Sinclair, Times Higher Education
"Dani Rodrik, a Harvard academic usually associated with the active-government side, has written an intriguing book, One Economics, Many Recipes. He argues that economists who agree who agree in general about where countries should be going can conduct open and honest--and technical rather than ideological--debates about how to get there."--Alan Beattie, Financial Times
"This book is certainly among the best of the many works on development economics recently published. . . . One Economics, Many Recipes is also a model of how applied economics should be done."--John Kay, Prospect
"The Harvard development economist Rodrik here collects a several of his recent papers into a coherent book. . . . In short, [One Economics, Many Recipes] is a critical response to the international 'consensus' approach to economic policymaking, with its implicit assumption that one set of policies is suitable in all, or at least in most, countries. Rodrik has become known for emphasizing the importance of institutions, but he here makes clear that appropriate policies are also important and that effective institutions can take many forms."--Richard Cooper, Foreign Affairs
"Rodrik's book hits many of the right buttons. He has put together a collection of essays of sufficient breadth to engage both the technical observer and the casual reader. His treatment of the subject will come as a bitter pill to both the anti-globalisation movement and the developmentariat, that international coterie of practitioners and commentators working on development issues."--Mario Pisani, New Statesman
"Rodrik is known for rigorous analysis that challenges the conventional wisdom, and this book does not disappoint. Economic growth is a very important goal, Rodrik argues, but the evidence indicates that there is no single recipe for growth."--M. Veseth, Choice
"Rodrik serves as an important, moderating voice in the globalization debate and this book proves no exception."--Sarah Cleeland Knight, Democracy and Society
"In his recent book, One Economics, Many Recipes, Harvard professor of international political economy Dani Rodrik wisely reminds us that there exists no general theory of growth, though he offers pragmatic suggestions in individual cases."--Carl J. Schramm, Claremont Review of Books
"[T]he thoughtful and scholarly elaboration of his pro-industrial policy views in this book should be essential reading for all interested in stimulating growth in these countries."--Robert E. Baldwin, World Trade Review
"Rodrik wins all hearts and minds by a careful consideration of the facts and sheer breadth of coverage. . . . Thus, market mavens, policy pros, global gurus and institutional irredentists can all savor what he says!"--Alice Amsden, EH.net
"Rodrik lays out a broad critique of prevailing approaches to development policy, offers fresh ideas for countries seeking to improve their economic performance, and argues for important reforms in the World Trade Organization (WTO) to make room for those ideas. The book is actually a collection of Rodrik's recent papers on growth, institutions, and globalization, but they constitute a remarkably coherent view of the development problem. . . . The book should have a deep and lasting effect on the way we think about economic development."--Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, Journal of International Economics
"I would highly recommend One Economics, Many Recipes to anyone interested in understanding how economics can help to improve the lives of the poor. Rodrick is innovative, challenging and extremely bright; and he has thought long and hard about this question. In addition to providing a good introduction to his own ideas, Rodrick has filtered, digested and provided his expert summary of the enormous literature on Globalization, Institutions and Economics Growth."--Emma Aisbett, Economic Record
From the Back Cover
"Dani Rodrik is a leader in applying rigorous economic analysis and informed common sense to the challenges of economic development. His knowledge, his sense of what we do and do not know, his important pointers to humility, pragmatism, and attention to context--all of these qualities permeate these excellent chapters. A book for academics and practitioners alike."--A. Michael Spence, Nobel Laureate in Economics, Stanford University
"Maybe Tolstoy was right about happy and unhappy families, but the same rule of thumb does not apply to developing economies. The success stories are not all alike. There is no practical, universal formula for rapid economic growth. That is Dani Rodrik's central argument, and he develops it forcefully and convincingly with many examples. Best of all, he insists that the need for policies tailored to local circumstances is exactly what basic economic theory suggests. He may not be right about every single thing, but I think he is right about that."--Robert M. Solow, Nobel Laureate in Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"One Economics, Many Recipes does for economic development what Julia Child did for French cooking. Child taught would-be cooks how to be excellent chefs. Dani Rodrik teaches economists and policy planners how to construct successful, sustainable development programs. He teaches and preaches the subtle correct practice of development economics."--George Akerlof, Nobel Laureate in Economics and Koshland Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley
"Dani Rodrik is that rare beast, both fox and hedgehog: a first-rate economist who steeps himself in politics, technology, and history to come up with striking insights and overarching principles for generating economic growth. Scholars and general readers alike will be swept along by the current of Rodrik's good-natured erudition--even those who do not share his faith in neoclassical economics. One Economics, Many Recipes is a landmark in post-Washington Consensus thinking."--Robert H. Wade, London School of Economics and Political Science, author of Governing the Market
"Dani Rodrik's One Economics, Many Recipes is a deep and important book about the relative success of nations. It considers the substance of economic policies over their superficial form. Highly successful countries have leaders who respect economic principles but keenly observe how their country differs from others and are flexible and creative in applying these principles to their own circumstances."--Robert J. Shiller, Yale University, author of Irrational Exuberance and The New Financial Order
"Although there are many articles and books on economic growth, this book is different because it proposes a new perspective that is likely to have a significant influence on academic economists as well as policymakers around the world. Dani Rodrik's new approach respects the fundamental economic principle of the market, but it also allows individual countries to formulate their own growth strategies based on their own local conditions."--Yingyi Qian, University of California, Berkeley
"In this important book, we have an author (Dani Rodrik) whose views are eminently worth hearing and a subject (globalization) in constant need of hearing them. Rodrik has long been a passionate but nuanced thinker on the role of 'economic fundamentals' in shaping growth. He resolutely uses the tools and methods of economics even as he arrives at conclusions that often do not square with what orthodox economics might prescribe or want to hear."--Michael Woolcock, the World Bank
Top customer reviews
A supplementary perspective on economic growth is available in "Why nations fail" by Daron Acemoglu.
Rodrik begins by illustrating the flaws in what a typical policy advisor educated in Western economic theory would propose to developing countries searching for sustainable economic growth. Lulled into our narrow views brought about by our idiosyncratic perspectives, the author pushes for a realization that many approaches (recipes) are capable of achieving economic success. A systematic growth diagnostics framework is presented for targeting the appropriate policy reform in the face of economic distress. An emphasis is placed in the desirability of knowledge in the particularities of a region's economy and policy implications in that will ensue. Rather than finding or importing a blueprint for the most successful growth strategy, the author suggests targeting policy at addressing the most binding constraints to growth. A trial and error process may appear risky but Rodrik suggests the most unorthodox approaches geared toward solid principles have been the most successful in history for institutions.
Aside from policy formation, institutions play a vital role in developing a suitable environment for growth. At a minimum, institutions must provide market participants with political and macroeconomic stability, basic property rights, a level of global integration, and regulation. These basic principles have been present to varying degrees in historical precedents of economic growth. The level at which institutions provide these principles is a determinant of how sustainable growth may inevitably be. Rodrik advocates "participatory political institutions," namely democracies, due to their ability to devise policy based on local particularities, provide the basic principles previously discussed, and adapt in the face of adversity. Evidence is provided that suggests these metainstitutions (democracies) are generally safer bets for sustainable economic growth, although exceptions to the rule exist.
In the closing sections, Rodrik discusses his views on the response of institutions to globalization and the role international organizations have in promoting growth. While some of his views on federalism and international agency reforms seem speculative in nature, I found many of his arguments well-grounded in economic reason. I completely agree in his view of the role trade liberalization has played in economic growth and how overstated its benefits are typically preached. Any expectation of the benefits to trade liberalization must be heavily weighed against the struggle that institutions as well as markets will undergo during the transformation. I believe these sections hold several worthwhile concerns about the strategies that our current international organizations employ.
Any reader of One Economics, Many Recipes must appreciate the author's willingness to return to the basic principles of economic theory in each of his arguments. Rodrik's expertise in international matters and numerous examples of development issues in a multitude of countries is applaudable. No assertion goes without statistical backing or a historical reference. I rate the piece a solid 8.5 out of 10. I dock a few marks in my rating because the repetition of identical examples grew excessive from time to time. This is most likely due to the fact the book is composed of several essays previously written by the author. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the read.
He proposes six policies to help implement industrial policy: export subsidies, domestic-content requirements, import-export linkages, import quotas, patent and copyright infringements, and directed credit.
He argues against relying on foreign direct investment, writing, "careful studies have found very little systematic evidence of technological and other externalities from foreign direct investment, some even finding negative spillovers. In these circumstances, subsidizing foreign investors is a silly policy, as it transfers income from poor-country taxpayers to the pockets of shareholders in rich countries, with no compensating benefit."
Rodrik says countries cannot have `globalisation', nation-states and democracy all at once, only any two of the three. So if we want a nation-state and democracy, we must limit our participation in the global economy.
If trade liberalisation brought wealth, Haiti would be the richest country in the world. As Rodrik observes, "no country has developed simply by opening itself up to foreign trade and investment." And, "there is no convincing evidence that trade liberalisation is predictably associated with subsequent economic growth. ... integration with the world economy is an outcome, and not a prerequisite, of a successful growth strategy."
All countries have the right to protect their own institutions and development priorities; none has the right to impose its preferences on others. So Rodrik opposes any country's using the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO to enforce its views. He writes, "Trade rules should seek peaceful coexistence among national practices, not harmonisation."