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Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective: Policies and Institutions for Economic Development in Historical Perspective (Anthem Studies in Development and Globalization) Paperback – 1 Jul 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Anthem Press (1 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843310279
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843310273
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.5 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 136,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'The most important book about the world economy to be published in years.' —'Prospect'



'This book is a joy: a fantastically useful teaching aid…a very necessary historical conscience in an age of amnesia.' —'The Business Economist'



'This is an intriguing book that raises important issues. Recommended.' —J. M. Nowakowski, Muskingum College, in ‘Choice’



‘Highly relevant to today’s debates about the role of policies and institutions in development as well as the role of government in general… It is a great contribution, not least for its historical approach, and will continue to influence the debate on development.’ —Seb Bytyçi, ‘ID: International Dialogue, A Multidisciplinary Journal of World Affairs’

Review

'A provocative critique of mainstream economists' sermons directed to developing countries… It demands attention.' —Charles Kindleberger, Emeritus Professor of Economics, MIT


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By William Podmore on 1 Dec. 2008
Format: Paperback
In this pioneering book, Ha-Joon Chang, Assistant Director of Development Studies at Cambridge University, explores development strategies in theory and practice. First, he studies how the developed countries became developed using active industrial, trade and technological (ITT) policies. Then he looks at the role that social institutions play in economic development. Finally, he proposes some lessons for the present.

He shows how Britain was the first country to perfect the art of infant industry promotion. Then he looks at the USA, which still has subsidies for its farmers, quotas for textiles, huge state spending on military R&D, trade sanctions against many other nations, and state funding for R&D in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries - all protectionist measures.

All the developed economies used active ITT policies, yet they now promote free trade for all, claiming that it will benefit all. Renato Ruggiero, the first Director of the World Trade Organisation [WTO], said in 1998 that this world order has `the potential for eradicating global poverty in the early part of the next century'.

But free trade policies have failed: they haven't delivered the promised growth. Free trade harms the less developed countries' national manufacturers and thus their prosperity in the long run.

A study of 116 countries showed that their GDP per head grew 3.1% a year with 1960-80's interventionist policies, but only 1.4% with the post-1979 Thatcherite policies. This study also proved that the quality of a society's institutions is not the key to growth; so does the similar slowdown in the developed countries since 1979.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Too many books on 20 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
A fascinating book, covering the economic history of the development of the industrialised world, starting with the UK in the early 1800s and the USA, France and Germany in the later 1800s. He contrasts their state growth-centred, industry-building policies with the failure of the IMF / World Bank "Washington Consensus" to promote development in the "Third World" since 1945.
A very understated book, and moderate in tone, yet its implications are momentous. It builds a strong case for saying the entire thrust of current international financial policies are hostile to development. I'd heartily recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Xenophon on 8 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this relatively short and concise text Ha-Joon Chang charts the rise of global capitalism from its beginnings up until the present day and in this discussion proceeds to give his opinion about the current plight of the poorer countries and how they can be helped out of poverty not by aid, but by trade.

Dr Chang's central argument is that the trade policies the IMF, World Bank and several wealthy countries are trying to impose on poorer countries (free markets and trade, ease of entry for foreign competitors into other markets) were never properly adopted by the richer countries when they themselves were developing. In fact, Chang tells us, wealthy countries became wealthy by using protectionist strategies and high tariffs in order to protect their infant industries grow before they opened them out to external trade and competition.

Dr Chang underlines the hypocrisy of international economic bodies and richer countries in the field of economic development and offers a fresh perspective on how states can provide more wealth to their citizens and become more competitive in the domain of international trade.
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By os TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
Lucidly written, detailed and data driven,this short but important book is a must read for anyone interested in development economics,even for non-specialists. Ha -Jong Chang argues that the WTO and allied organisations,whether well intentioned or not have put developing nations in an ideological vice grip that will considerably restrict their abilities to grow and provide for their citizens. The current ideology is based around the idea of free markets, democracy and appropriate legal,financial and governmental infrastructure,based on western models. This policy slant finds considerable support from developed nations, because it suits them. Developed nations and their businesses through reduced trade barriers and eased entry into markets it is said, gain access to new markets,lower prices and assured supplies of inputs as a result. Likewise,many economists, particularly of the Libertarian hue argue that 'free trade' provides the answer to many problems - growth,incomes and employment will be higher for everyone when governments stop interfering in the operation of markets. In addition,trade promotes self -reliance,competition and efficient use of resources along side reducing dependency on aid. Ha-Joon Chang is not convinced.

Chang suggests that history can teach us a lesson. That lesson is a simple one. That developed nations throughout their history have used tariffs and other restrictions to protect their industries and still do. The author provides much convincing evidence that Western European and the USA made significant use of subsidy,import controls, exploitation of colonies (especial raw materials and cheap labour) patent infringement and government support of fledgling industries to develop their industrial base.
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