Friday, May 21, 2021

Review of Globalization and Progressive Economic Policy edited by Dean Baker, Gerald A. Epstein, Robert Pollin

This review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = Economics

Short Description

“Smith’s famous book was criticizing the position of the mercantilists on the causes of national wealth and, in particular, their view that export-promoting economic policies could make a nation wealthier by making its trading partners poorer.” – Dean Baker, Gerald Epstein, and Robert Pollin, Introduction, Page 1

“The simple fact is that states, I particular nation-states, represent the single most important alternative to market forces in determining economic outcomes.” – Dean Baker, Gerald Epstein, and Robert Pollin, Introduction, Page 4

“It entails an accelerating rate and/or a higher level of economic interaction between people of different countries, leading to a qualitative shift in the relationship between nation-states and national economies.” – Dean Baker, Gerald Epstein, and Robert Pollin, Introduction, Page 5

Quotes with permission from publisher (Cambridge University Press)

Elaborate Description

Globalization involves increased interactions between people in different countries which changes relationships between nation-states and economies.  These interactions does not mean that trade partners will become poorer, but the way in which the interactions happen can cause problems.  Markets can focus on short-term metrics, do not utilize full human capacity, increase inequality which can increase inefficiency, and shift political power to influence decisions.  The authors recognize that governments might not fulfill their designated tasks, but that states are an alternative determination to economic outcomes.  As economies become globalized, their financial systems converge on monetary policies, which is a way that nations seem to lose control over their own economic policies.  

To understand this book requires a lot of background information on what the authors are discussing.  There are a lot of misperceptions that the authors have which cannot be reconciled such as claiming to want states to take charge over their economic policies, while taking away decisions from the people they are responsible for.  The authors usually blame neoliberalism for various world economic maladies but they reference policies in which neoliberalism was the heterodox view rather than mainstream.  What makes this ironic is that some authors do point out that the policies under observation come from a Keynesian era.  By trying to deflect blame and problems to another economic perspective, the authors miss the problems created by their own perspectives.  

Questions to Consider while Reading the Book

•What is the raison d’etre of the book?  For what purpose did the author write the book?
•What is globalization?
•What does the State do?
•What are some problems with markets?
•What changes does globalization impose on nations?

Book Details
Edition ISBN:  9780521643764
Pages to read:   464
Publication:     2004
1st Edition:      1998
Format:            Paperback

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    2
Content          2
Overall           2