Saturday, November 20, 2021

Review of An International Economy: Problems and Prospects by Gunnar Myrdal

This review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = Economics

Short Description

Elaborate Description


Integration refers to national communities being brought closer to interdependence by internal and mutual adjustments.  Economic integration is an ideal in which everyone gets access to the same opportunities no matter the background of the individual.  Requiring changing social norms.  The problem is that policy cannot easily change the reality of the vast differences in people’s beliefs, interests, cultures, and other differences.  Liberalization of international trade on its own cannot affect integration.  Trade can widen the gap between living standards, and can perpetuate stagnation in underdeveloped regions.  While richer countries advance, poorer countries either stagnate or progress slower.  National integration and regional cooperation are needed to gain bargaining power, which is needed for political balance.

This book showcases the problems with integration such as with industrialization, certain regions has led to the exploitation of natural resources.  When populations urbanized, it broke down social ties and enforced mobility.  Those in power want economic development, but to get it without changing the social structure in which they have been the beneficiaries.


This book is very difficult to read.  Makes it hard to understand the important issues presented.  The book was written for contemporaries of the 1950s, and as such, contains many events that are no longer very applicable to current situations.   General insights can be gained, but to understand the specifics would require background knowledge into the issues of the time.   As the book focuses on problems of development, it can appear that the author is against the development of economies.

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 economic integration?  
•What is the difference between national and international integration?
•Why does integration challenge regional differences?
•What is the impact of trade?
•How can economies develop?
•Who does not want to develop their economies?
•Should trade be regulated?

Book Details
Edition Library of Congress:  5412156
Pages to read:   343
Publication:     1956
1st Edition:      1956
Format:            Hardcover

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    1
Content          2
Overall           1