Professor Kay is one of the leading economists in the UK and writer of one of the best books on corporate strategy (“Foundations of Corporate Success”). In his latest book he aims to explain, describe and justify the requisite framework within which the market economy prospers.
Kay argues, that contrary to common belief, what we refer to as the American Business Model, characterized by unrestrained individualism and minimal government intervention, is not the characteristic framework of successful economies. Indeed the “genius of the market economies to achieve co-ordination without a co-coordinator” works effectively only by being “embedded” in a social, political and cultural context. It is the quality these latter factors which differentiates between poor and rich states. It follows that the principal role of the state should be to allow these conditions to prosper.
Apart from being an authoritative book making a convincing argument this is also an exceptionally well-written and entertaining book, which will appeal to wide range readers. Through a series of “little stories”, he accompanies the reader from the failures of the UK electricity industry to the flower market of San Remo, in order to make each point. This approach brings to life his arguments making it interesting and accessible, even to readers who might lack a background in economics.
Overall, I think this is a very informative and highly rewarding book and would definitely recommend it to people interested in gaining a deeper understanding into the way the markets operate.