Economic, Social, and Environmental
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.