Richard N. Cooper

Capsule Review
Mar/Apr
2013
Richard N. Cooper

Most history is about what happened and why. An attractive feature of this book about the financial crisis of 2008, written by the chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) at the time, is that it covers many official responses to the crisis that were considered but not carried out.

Capsule Review
Mar/Apr
2013
Richard N. Cooper

Without taking an institutional position, the IMF has performed a useful service in sponsoring this symposium on the use of fiscal instruments—specifically, a tax on emissions of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide—to mitigate climate change.

Capsule Review
Mar/Apr
2013
Richard N. Cooper

Nolan, a British economist, answers the question in his title with a resounding no.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2013
Richard N. Cooper

Most analyses of development and poverty alleviation focus on overall economic growth and the design of particular economic programs. In contrast, this book focuses on particular leaders who launched successful efforts to help the poorest (usually rural) members of their societies, drawing attention to the consummate political skills necessary to implement even well-conceived policies.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2013
Richard N. Cooper

The justification for creating temporary monopolies through patents and copyrights is that they encourage creative activity that would not otherwise take place. But Raustiala and Sprigman argue that imitation -- which music labels and movie studios often consider theft -- frequently stimulates creativity rather than discouraging it.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2013
Richard N. Cooper

Lin, the former chief economist of the World Bank, makes a case for what he calls a “new structuralist” approach to economic development. Drawing on the experience of many countries, especially China, he argues for an active role for government in fostering development, not only through the traditional provision of infrastructure and the enforcement of rules but also in identifying and supporting industries that contribute to growth.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2013
Richard N. Cooper

In this engaging book, Janeway, a venture capitalist who trained as an economist, combines his academic erudition with lessons learned during 40 years of working in the financial sector. His novel argument is that financial bubbles can be expected to occur from time to time in modern economies and that on balance they contribute to positive economic transformations by financing new technologies, even though many of them inevitably prove to be false starts or dead ends.

Capsule Review
Jan/Feb
2013
Richard N. Cooper

Sharp increases in food prices in 2008 and again in 2012 reminded the world that food security cannot be taken for granted, especially for poor people. Can adequate food supplies be assured? Conway answers with a qualified yes.

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2012
Richard N. Cooper

This book is built around case studies of 15 state-owned oil companies, which together account for nearly 50 percent of global oil production and for 56 percent of the world’s proven conventional oil reserves. Its aim is to evaluate the performance of these companies in the exploration, development, refinement (where relevant), and distribution of oil and gas.

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2012
Richard N. Cooper

Marsh foresees a fifth industrial revolution, characterized by a greater dispersion of manufacturing around the world.

Capsule Review
Nov/Dec
2012
Richard N. Cooper

Tomasi is troubled not only by the political polarization of contemporary American politics but also by the apparent mutual incompatibility, and hence mutual antagonism, between libertarianism and claims for social justice that require some redistribution of income.

Capsule Review
Sept/Oct
2012
Lawrence D. Freedman

These two books describe how the United States’ role in former French Indochina developed during the 1950s; they are, in essence, pre-histories of the Vietnam War.

Capsule Review
Sept/Oct
2012
Richard N. Cooper

Sinn casts a skeptical eye toward some of the popular nostrums for climate change. He emphasizes the distinction between environmental objectives and policy instruments, arguing that evaluations of the instruments should be based on their actual contributions to objectives, and not on the good feelings that we may get from having simply done something.

Capsule Review
Sept/Oct
2012
Richard N. Cooper

Wong deftly evaluates the efforts of three Asian “tigers” -- Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan -- to enter the biotechnology sector, seen by leaders in all three places as a vital industry of the future.

Capsule Review
Sept/Oct
2012
Richard N. Cooper

Turner makes the case that growth should not be sought as an end in itself in rich countries. Rather, the focus should be on creating economic freedom and making possible a wide range of employment opportunities.

Capsule Review
Sept/Oct
2012
Richard N. Cooper

This massive tome is the fifth in a series of official histories of the International Monetary Fund, made possible by the author’s access to internal IMF documents.

Capsule Review
Sept/Oct
2012
Richard N. Cooper

The authors of this study examine various efforts to restrict both inflows and outflows of capital and are left troubled by the potential effects of overly aggressive restrictions.

Capsule Review
May/June
2012
Richard N. Cooper

This volume is a collection of conference papers written mainly for professionals engaged in the complex, multidisciplinary process of disease eradication, which requires the cooperation of thousands of people, including practitioners in small clinics all over the world.

Capsule Review
May/June
2012
Richard N. Cooper

Although Patry does not say so explicitly, his persuasive arguments suggest that even the “piracy” of copyrighted material often results in more public good than harm.

Capsule Review
May/June
2012
Richard N. Cooper

Sharman boldly tested the international anti-money-laundering rules by breaking them, setting up shell companies and bank accounts without providing the kinds of documentation required by law.

Capsule Review
May/June
2012
Richard N. Cooper

According to Martin, thorium is a far superior reactor fuel because it is less radioactive and more abundant than uranium and also produces much less waste.

Capsule Review
May/June
2012
Richard N. Cooper

Lardy, one of the foremost foreign scholars of the Chinese economy, laments how little progress China has actually made toward achieving sustainable growth.

Capsule Review
Mar/Apr
2012
Richard N. Cooper

Kinkela presents DDT as a useful product with undesirable long-term ecological effects, requiring careful judgment about when to use it. The U.S. chemical industry, in contrast, comes off badly, as it attempted to deny and dismiss DDT’s negative effects and to discredit anyone who pointed them out.

Capsule Review
Mar/Apr
2012
Richard N. Cooper

A useful introduction to a remote part of the world that will undoubtedly become more important in the coming years.

Capsule Review
Mar/Apr
2012
Richard N. Cooper

The book emphasizes the fact that there is no single way to manage resources and that for a country to be successful, its resource policies must take into account its particular circumstances.