Description : Far more than an intellectual puzzle for pundits, economists, and policymakers, economic growth--its makings and workings--is a subject that affects the well-being of billions of people around the globe. In The Mystery of Economic Growth, Elhanan Helpman discusses the vast research that has revolutionized understanding of this subject in recent years, and summarizes and explains its critical messages in clear, concise, and accessible terms. The tale of growth economics, as Helpman tells it, is organized around a number of themes: the importance of the accumulation of physical and human capital; the effect of technological factors on the rate of this accumulation; the process of knowledge creation and its influence on productivity; the interdependence of the growth rates of different countries; and, finally, the role of economic and political institutions in encouraging accumulation, innovation, and change. One of the leading researchers of economic growth, Helpman succinctly reviews, critiques, and integrates current research--on capital accumulation, education, productivity, trade, inequality, geography, and institutions--and clarifies its relevance for global economic inequities. In particular, he points to institutions--including property rights protection, legal systems, customs, and political systems--as the key to the mystery of economic growth. Solving this mystery could lead to policies capable of setting the poorest countries on the path toward sustained growth of per capita income and all that that implies--and Helpman's work is a welcome and necessary step in this direction.
Description : Behind the mystery of economic growth stands another mystery: why do some places fare better than others? Casual evidence shows that sizable differences exist at very different spatial scales (countries, regions and cities). This book aims to discuss the main economic reasons for the existence of peaks and troughs in the spatial distribution of wealth and people, with a special emphasis on the role of large cities and regional agglomerations in the process of economic development.
Description : An invaluable survey of the literature on growth. Colin White argues persuasively and expertly that any attempt to solve the profound mystery of economic growth at the large scales of world history must move beyond the limited vision of neo-classical economic theory, and incorporate the narrative methods and perspectives of history as well. This is a superb overview and critique of contemporary attempts to explain economic growth, and a perceptive re-examination of the whole issue of growth in human history. David Christian, Macquarie University, Australia Colin White transcends a number of false dichotomies in this work. He shows that we need both theory and history in order to comprehend the transition to modern economic growth. He appreciates that this transition was neither inevitable as many theorists argue nor entirely contingent as historical treatments often suggest. He argues that advice to present-day less developed countries should combine a general understanding of the process of transition with detailed analysis of the history and conditions of the country in question. He appreciates that it makes sense to speak of an Industrial Revolution while also recognizing that this was a gradual process that in turn built upon even more gradual changes in earlier centuries in the British economy. Less obviously but importantly he realizes that we can best understand economic growth if we recognize the limitations of each scholarly approach in order to integrate the best of these. Rick Szostak, University of Alberta, Canada This fascinating book considers one of the most important problems in economics: the inception of modern economic development. There is at present no satisfactory explanation of the inception of modern economic development; an excessive focus on either pure theory or on unique histories limits the explanatory power. This book realises the need to integrate the two approaches, moving beyond the proximate causes of economic theory to review the role in an analytic narrative of significant ultimate causes geography, risk environments, human capital, and institutions. Colin White distils the conclusions of a vast literature, drawing from economics, economic history and business and management, exploring economic theory, demonstrating limitations and highlighting alternative approaches. Particular attention is paid to the appropriate role of innovative entrepreneurs and of government, and three case studies illustrate how to build an analytic narrative. Showing how far we can generalise about the determinants of economic development and in particular how to understand the specific determinants in individual countries, this book will prove a stimulating and thought provoking read to academics, students and researchers with an interest in economics and economic development.
Description : Interest in economics is at an all-time high. Among the challenges facing the nation is an economy with rapidly rising unemployment, failures of major businesses and industries, and continued dependence on oil with its wildly fluctuating price. Americans are debating the proper role of the government in company bailouts, the effectiveness of tax cuts versus increased government spending to stimulate the economy, and potential effects of deflation. Economists have dealt with such questions for generations, but they have taken on new meaning and significance. Tackling these questions and encompassing analysis of traditional economic theory and topics as well as those that economists have only more recently addressed, 21st Century Economics: A Reference Handbook is intended to meet the needs of several types of readers. Undergraduate students preparing for exams will find summaries of theory and models in key areas of micro and macroeconomics. Readers interested in learning about economic analysis of an issue as well students embarking on research projects will find introductions to relevant theory and empirical evidence. And economists seeking to learn about extensions of analysis into new areas or about new approaches will benefit from chapters that introduce cutting-edge topics. To make the book accessible to undergraduate students, models have been presented only in graphical format (minimal calculus) and empirical evidence has been summarized in ways that do not require much background in statistics or econometrics. It is thereby hoped that chapters will provide both crucial information and inspiration in a non-threatening, highly readable format.
Description : Politicians, economists, and Wall Street would have us believe that limitless economic expansion is the Holy Grail, and that there is no conflict between growing the economy and protecting the environment. Supply Shock debunks these widely accepted myths and demonstrates that we are in fact navigating the end of the era of economic growth, and that the only sustainable alternative is the development of a steady state economy. Starting with a refreshingly accessible, comprehensive critique of economic growth, the author engages readers in an enormous topic that affects everyone in every country. Publishers Weekly favorably compared Brian Czech to Carl Sagan for popularizing their difficult subjects; Supply Shock shows why. Czech presents a compelling alternative to growth based on keen scientific, economic, and political insights including: The "trophic theory of money" The overlooked source of technological progress that prevents us from reconciling growth and environmental protection Bold yet practical policies for establishing a steady state economy Supply Shock leaves no doubt that the biggest idea of the twentieth century—economic growth—has become the biggest problem of the twenty-first. Required reading for anyone concerned about the world our children and grandchildren will inherit, this landmark work lays a solid foundation for a new economic model, perhaps in time for preventing global catastrophes; certainly in time for lessening the damages. Brian Czech is the founder of Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE), the leading organization promoting the transition from unsustainable growth to a new economic paradigm.
Description : Two economists explain why financial imbalance causes civil collapse--and why America could be next. From the Roman Empire to the Ming Dynasty to Imperial Spain, the superpowers of the world have grown to become the greatest economic, political, and military forces of their time--only to collapse.