Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Review of Embedded Autonomy: States and Industrial Transformation by Peter B. Evans

This review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = Economics
Intriguing Connections = Capitalism, Socialism, their Alternatives and Critiques

Elaborate Description

The state can prey on the people or help the people prosper. The difficult part is how to support the industries within the state without becoming a predatory state. Embedded autonomy is the answer for the state to have a proper role.

An embedded autonomy is a structure for a government to have proper state involvement, but only few countries can claim to be similar to this ideal. Embedded means that the state and society are bound together. By being bound, the state has access to networks in different sources of intelligence which creates the resources to get the goals done and the ability to rely on decentralized units. Autonomy means to have the right incentives that reward commitment to the set goals. Having the right internal incentives, allows for a merit based system that fosters individuals to cooperate on implementing policies which revolves around being able to renegotiate continuously.

The states intervention can have either a positive or negative impact on the country, it depends on the structure of the state and the role the state decides to play. If the role is to incentivize more private growth, which can mobilize capital to the sources where capital is needed, but can prevent the private industry from being tolerant to Schumpeterian creative destruction in the future. If the role is for the state to be the producer, the industry will grow internally, but the policy makers can extract wealth from society rather provide it.

To make the case for more contemporary developmental strategies, Evans uses informatics. The emerging tech industries in the mid to late 20th century provide in different countries and their different results to policy strategies are represented quite well in the book.

Although the tech industry is a great example of how the state can help or prevent industries from growing, a chapter about other industries would have added a lot of value. Generally well written.

Book Details

Edition ISBN:  0691037361
Pages to read:   353
Publication:     1995
1st Edition:      1995
Format:            Paperback

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    5
Content          5
Overall           5