Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Review of Rethinking Trade and Commercial Policy Theories: Development Perspectives by P. Sai-wing Ho

Book can be found in:
Genre = Economic Development

Elaborate Description

The book traverses various economic policies and those who promulgated them. Starting with the neo-classical (mainstream) economic views and then those in the more Keynesian camp. Lots of history is shown to get a better understanding of how the policy views changed. Most chapters of the book are discussions of the major contributions of a particular economist. The economists under Ho's review are those who were prominent thinkers of the theories.

Major policy issues discussed are those of how skills, manufacturing, protections, and other policies helps countries develop. Skills provide the capabilities to utilize the available resources. To grow, an economy needs to diversify which requires expanding the economy from producing just agriculture to adding manufacturing industries. For an industry to grow, it sometimes needs to be incentivized by government support systems. These and many other policies are examined for how they practically helped or impeded a country's development.

For the economists that the author supports, a claim is made that the popular understanding of the economist's ideas are simplified and misunderstood. Ho does a great job at representing the more holistic and complete vision of the economist's ideas. When examining a policy and its faults, the criticism comes from the economist under observation. For these economists, rarely does the author provides criticism from another perspectives. The problem is when discussing those that the author is arguing against, the criticism comes from the classical economists. Adding the classical economist's understanding adds background to see the huge differences, but also at times simplifies the policy as well taking away from their holistic vision.

The style of writing is generally good, but at times very difficult to read. Many quotes are provided. Sometimes, Ho explains the quote while other times the quote is just there for more info. Some quotes are just there but do not lead to a better understanding of the policy nor a greater explanation is provided.

Book Details

Edition ISBN:  9781840649420
Pages to read:   436
Publication:     2010
1st Edition:      2010
Format:            Hardcover

Ratings out of 5:
Readability     3
Content           4
Overall           3