Openness for Prosperity: Essays in World Economics

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Openness for Prosperity: Essays in World Economics

By Herbert Giersch
The MIT Press, 1993
351 pp. $45.00
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This volume gathers 20 papers by one of Germany's leading economists, written since 1969. Giersch is an old-fashioned economist, in the sense that he deals with fundamental ideas and he is intelligible to nonspecialists; there is hardly an equation or diagram in the volume.

Giersch is an unabashed liberal, in the European sense of the term: he wants government to play its necessary roles in society, but he does not want government to stifle individual initiative and entrepreneurship, which he sees as the well-spring of modern prosperity. The essays explicitly have a distinctly Schumpeterian flavor, emphasizing dynamism, change and "creative destruction" rather than long-run equilibrium, which is the dominant framework for most modern economic analysis. American liberals will consider Giersch conservative-until they read his trenchant commentary on the residual feudalism and more recent corporatism that hobbles European economies and societies. This is a useful collection in English of the thoughtful writings of a distinguished German economist.

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