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The Globalization Paradox: Why Global Markets, States, and Democracy Can't Coexist
 
 

The Globalization Paradox: Why Global Markets, States, and Democracy Can't Coexist [Kindle Edition]

Dani Rodrik

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Takes on the biggest issue of our time globalization and eloquently enlarges the debate about the extent and limits of global cooperation. --Gordon Brown

Kurzbeschreibung

For a century, economists have driven forward the cause of globalization in financial institutions, labour markets, and trade. Yet there have been consistent warning signs that a global economy and free trade might not always be advantageous. Where are the pressure points? What could be done about them?

Dani Rodrik examines the back-story from its seventeenth-century origins through the milestones of the gold standard, the Bretton Woods Agreement, and the Washington Consensus, to the present day. Although economic globalization has enabled unprecedented levels of prosperity in advanced countries and has been a boon to hundreds of millions of poor workers in China and elsewhere in Asia, it is a concept that rests on shaky pillars, he contends. Its long-term sustainability is not a given.

The heart of Rodrik>'s argument is a fundamental 'trilemma': that we cannot simultaneously pursue democracy, national self-determination, and economic globalization. Give too much power to governments, and you have protectionism. Give markets too much freedom, and you have an unstable world economy with little social and political support from those it is supposed to help. Rodrik argues for smart globalization, not maximum globalization.

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Amazon.com: 4.4 von 5 Sternen  33 Rezensionen
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Keep the Windows Open, But Don't Forget the Mosquito Screens 13. Februar 2011
Von Etienne ROLLAND-PIEGUE - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Every student in economics is familiar with Robert Mundell's triangle of impossibility. Based on the model that the Canadian economist developed with Marcus Flemming in 1962, this trilemma states that it is impossible to have a sovereign monetary policy, free capital flows, and a fixed exchange rate at the same time--that two, and only two, of these objectives could be met. This impossible trinity came to dominate policy debates in Europe in the run-up to the European monetary union in the 1990s--a rare example when the result of a theoretical model had a direct bearing on policy choices.

Although he doesn't develop a formal model, Dani Rodrik offers his own, more ambitious version of the impossibility triangle. The political trilemma of the world economy, as he names it, is that we cannot have deep economic integration ("hyperglobalization"), national sovereignty, and democratic politics at the same time. We have to sacrifice one of the corners of the triangle. And for Rodrik, the objective that has to be abandoned is clear and straightforward. We cannot compromise on democracy, and global governance is nothing but a distant dream. We therefore have to jettison hyperglobalization in favor of a more shallow form of global economic integration, a new version of the compromise that was embodied in the postwar system laid out at Bretton Woods. In particular, unrestricted capital mobility and indiscriminate trade openness will have to go. This will make the world a safer and better place for democracy.

Dani Rodrik, who teaches at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, is a first-class economist. In academic and policy circles, people talk about him with respect and sometimes even with awe--it is better to have him on the same side of an argument than sitting across the table. Some economists perfidly point out that he has a talent for bending numbers to support his claims-- that he is an expert in the art of political econometrics, or the use of statistical regressions to support one's political positions. But this is how the game of economics ought to be played. Although Rodrik is sometimes considered as a maverick and a lone wolf, he speaks from inside the tent. No one would put into question his qualification as an economist. Sure enough, his arguments are often controversial and even provocative, but they are receivable and debatable by the academic community. "He is one of us", most if not all economists would acknowledge.

This is why his criticism of globalization ought be read with great attention and interest. It comes at a time when the high hopes invested in globalization have receded, and the negative aspects brought about by open borders and financial liberalization now take center stage. At this juncture, as Rodrik underscores, we need a new narrative to shape the next stage of globalization. "Economists have been responsible for the narratives that interpret development success and failure, narratives which in turn have guided policy in many parts of the world." They now have a special responsibility for shaping the debate: because they have been the cheerleaders of the previous phase of global openness, and because they can help distinguish snake oil from real ointments, and separate "the legitimate wheat from the 'protectionist' chaff".

Many prominent economists are now starting to have second thoughts on globalization. True, their choir was never at unison: some had different pitches, and their endorsement of free and open markets often came with caveats and restrictions. Even a staunch free-trader like Jagdish Baghwati expressed warnings about unrestricted capital mobility. Now more voices are beginning to worry about the consequences of deindustrialization, the growth of inequality, and the race to bottom standards and regulations brought about the current wave of globalization in developed economies. As Keynes once famously remarked, "When the facts change, I change my mind--what do you do, sir?" Rodrik, for one, never changed his mind on trade liberalization. He was one of the first economists to bring the debate from the seminar room to the political arena, and to argue against the simplistic case for free trade that is often doled out to journalists to supports claims about the benefits of globalization. He comments the matter with considerable talent and great humor--never was a class discussion on comparative advantage and international trade theory so lively and refreshing.

Dani Rodrik doesn't limit his argument to modern textbook economics. He excavates from the dusty shelves of economics libraries some forgotten books and tracts that are singularly relevant for today. Henry Martyn's Consideration Upon the East-India Trade, written in 1701, anticipates many of the arguments that economists who favored free trade would marshal much later. In 1961, James E. Mead wrote The Economics and Social Structure of Mauritius, and proposed the same kind of diagnostic tools and policy approach that Rodrik and his coauthors would later develop and sell out to the World Bank. This approach, called the "Growth Diagnostics framework", now serves as reference in international policy debates and is quoted approvingly by senior officials from emerging countries who are now the darlings of international gatherings. Development economics has come full circle: as Rodrik notes, "that industrial policy, in whatever guise, is once again considered acceptable, and indeed necessary, speaks volumes about how far we have retreated from the trade fundamentalism of the 1990s."

Rodrik also have his weak points. He is candid about his limitations as a forecaster. He didn't see the Asian crisis coming in 1997, and he got it wrong again in 2007 when he missed the subprime crisis that was brewing in the U.S. More to the point, he picked up the wrong fight in the late 1990s, arguing against free trade when the real menace was coming from the excesses of financial globalization. One gets the feeling he still gives too much importance to the trade agenda as defined by the WTO in comparison to the new trade rules and conditions negotiated away from public scrutiny in the bilateral or regional trade agreements that now span the world in a complex web of policy arrangements. Rodrik is on less familiar ground when the discusses international finance, and his plea for an international transaction tax could have been more substantiated.

In making the case for their pet theory, economists often miss the broader picture. Not so with Dani Rodrik. His list of principles and recommendations that close the book offer an all-encompassing agenda for a better and safer globalization. It is altogether fitting that the quote which best sums up his policy stance was offered by a Chinese student, who recommended to keep the windows open, but without forgetting the mosquito screens. This utterance could have been offered by a future statesman and, considering the wide audience that Dani Rodrik's essay deserves, it could as well be picked up by one.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen "Hubris creates blind spots" 24. Februar 2011
Von DRDR - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
The Globalization Paradox adds rhetorical flair to Dani Rodrik's previous work condemning the intrusions of the WTO and IMF on the mechanisms of nation-states. Rodrik now dubs his enemy "hyperglobalization" (previously known as "deep integration") and insists that it be slayed to promote the diversity of social concerns across the world's democracies. The book augments the global economic governance chapters of "One Economics, Many Recipes" (a 2007 hodgepodge of the author's previous work) with richer historical context and topical material on the financial crisis and China's rise. I read several thoughtful reviews of Rodrik's last book in economics journals, and I am disappointed these reviews did not lead Rodrik to engage more of the recent economic literature in trade policy. Yet I still appreciate this book for asking important policy-relevant research questions that economists have often neglected.

A sizeable chunk of the book is navel-gazing: humbly defending the economics profession, while criticizing its members for unequivocally endorsing free trade in public. His most pointed barb is accusing economists of using more conditional views of free trade in the seminar room. I'm reminded of Elhanan Helpman and Paul Krugman's seminal 1989 trade policy monograph, which surveys several trade models in which government intervention is optimal. Yet the authors conclude, "The design of an advantageous trade policy requires information of a kind that is simply not available." This was not one of the seven "hand-waving arguments" Rodrik cites in support of free trade, but it's an important argument he should have engaged.

Rodrik downplays the concern from economists that much of trade policy in democracies is political rent-seeking. If there were a referendum for every trade policy decision, and citizens were perfectly informed about the impact of each one, would trade policy be much different from today? In other words, what share of trade policy originates from opportunistic lobbyists rather than legitimate democratic social preferences? I can imagine U.S. citizens protecting a few paper mill towns, but I don't see them keeping sugar quotas or subsidies for Brazilian cotton farmers.

What gains are left for further international liberalization? Rodrik argues wisely that because manufacturing liberalization has proceeded so far already, further liberalization will lead to much larger distributional effects than gains from trade. I was disappointed that Rodrik selectively cites Andrew Rose to suggest the GATT & WTO has had little effect on expanding trade, yet economists Arvind Subramaniam & Shang-Jin Wei have shown that only countries who actually liberalized themselves gained trade from the WTO -- as theory would predict. Rodrik is correct that overall gains from temporary migration (practically nonexistent at present) are much larger than gains from tariff liberalization. The same logic would suggest massive gains from liberalizing other forms of services trade (temporary migration of workers is but one form), and Rodrik does not mention this.

Even if one disagrees with Rodrik on normative trade policy, determining the ideal global institutions for balancing conflicting policy preferences across nation-states is still practically important. Rodrik makes a convincing case for the impossibility of global federalism (fantasy-crushing for Rodrik's Harvard Kennedy School students). He makes a good case that capital controls are necessary to allow for different national priorities in regulating finance. I'm less sold on Rodrik's claim that U.S. credit rating agencies are proof that labelling and corporate social responsibility cannot succeed: his example is a closed market in which government created rents by limiting entry to three firms. Regardless, I agree with Rodrik that nation-states are not going to completely surrender their sovereignty to a WTO-like organization, and there needs to be an institution that can allow them to negotiate over their distinct policy preferences.

Rodrik believes that the WTO overreached on national sovereignty, and he looks back longingly on the lighter integration of the GATT and Breton Woods regime from the late 1940s. What you won't learn from Rodrik is that Kyle Bagwell and Robert Staiger formalized such a theory, influential in the international law literature and published in top economic journals over the previous decade. Bagwell and Staiger suggest the ideal trade institution, similar to GATT, is one where nations negotiate over market access commitments, and countries should be free to choose any mixture of domestic policies and trade policies which maintains the negotiated level of market access. The mess of safeguard schemes that Rodrik instead proposes sound similar, yet it is hard to be sure without formalism. What is clear is that Rodrik believes domestic concerns are far more important than any international externalities created by trade and domestic policy choices, and he believes the market access focus of trade negotiations is problematic.

Rodrik used to have an active blog on international economics, but he came to a near full stop, believing that the blog and book-writing were substitutes. Still I hope the blog can be complementary to the further development of Dani's thinking on these important issues.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Important message on how to sustain civil society in the global eraif we 18. April 2011
Von M.Perry Chapman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Dani Rodrik gets it! Globalization of trade and finance makes sense to the extent that it can, or should, lift the economic hopes of people across the planet if it can be managed and regulated in such a way that it doesn't undermine an even more important pursuit for the future of the world, which is to strengthen civil society at the level of nation states everywhere. He argues that in our zeal to foster world trade and finance under the mantle of "hyperglobalization", we run a great risk of subordinating democracy to the interests of multi-national corporations and financial technocrats for whom accountability is to maximize shareholder profit. Profit is a perfectly appropriate goal for the world's enterprises, but Rodrik seeks to strike a balance between that goal and the capacity of individual countries to sustain their own resources, ways of living, labor laws, environmental protection, and a host of other factors that can be achieved best within the context of national governance, where democratic decision-making occurs. His analogy is that of updating the Bretton Woods accord that brought prosperity to much of the post war "free world" before organizations like WTO and others pushed the global trade structure toward a regime that subordinates the civil interests of nations to business interests of corporations. That's the big picture. The reader will find the details for a "sustainable globalism" to be thoughtfully developed in this timely book.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen A New Creed for the Democratic Party 2. Juli 2011
Von Herbert Gintis - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Dani Rodrik is a gifted economist who has spent most of his professional life studying the evolution of the modern advanced liberal democratic economies. This book presents a political philosophy for the advanced countries. The audience is the interested layperson. There are no equations, tables or graphs in this book. Rather Rodrik's evidence is largely anecdotal, drawn from his vast experience.

Rodrik's message is simple. The first stage of capitalism was dominated by a hegemonic capitalist class and unregulated markets, guided by an ideology of laissez-faire. The second stage was dominated by the distribution struggle between industrial capital and industrial labor, with Keynesian economics in the ascendency. We are now in a third stage of capitalism in which globalization has thrown the supporters of labor in disarray, and in which a new set of nation-state level regulations are needed to protect democracy without losing the economic benefits of globalization.

The enemy for Rodrik is ultraglobalism, in which unregulated international capital flows prevent countries from redistributing in favor of the less well off, free trade principles prevent countries from applying their own environmental and product safety standards, and hypercompetition prevents countries from implementing desirable pay scales and occupational safety and health regulation. In short, says Rodrik, ultraglobalism is the enemy of democracy, because it prevents voters from making meaningful choices about the future direction of their own society.

Rodrik's recommendations for a healthy economic policy are far from radical. He recognizes that the prospects for "global government" are slim, so meaningful economic regulation will continue to be exercised at the nation-state level. He then asserts that each country has the right to determine its own social arrangements, regulations, and institutions, even when this self-determination interferes with globalization, and thus requires serious levels of economic protectionism. A replacement for Bretton-Woods for the control of international economic relations should permit the proliferation of national differences in the philosophy of economic regulation, should refrain from imposing the institutions of one country on another, except that democracy should be fostered in all countries, and non-democratic nations should not have full access to the international economy.

There are serious problems with Rodrik's argument, in my view. It is clear that his new regulatory order is aimed at resuscitating the power of organized labor to collude with big capital to raise wages and prices, and curtail competition over these and the quality of goods by restricting international competition. If Rodrik's regulatory system were in place in the last quarter of the 20th century in the USA, we would still be driving the gas-guzzler pigs of cars that the Big Three forced down our throats since WWII. What Rodrik calls "democracy" is really the exercise of special interests whose main goal is to prevent real competition. We can do without.

I do not think much of labor unions for the advanced liberal democracies in the present era. The maintenance of occupational safety and health are better served through national legislation that affects all workers, not a privileged few in a highly organized industrial sector. In the industrial era, where many important industries were oligopolistic so the bosses earned huge monopoly profits, the role of the union was to redistribute a portion of these monopoly profits to the firm's workers. With globalization, oligopoly has given way to competitive industries in which there is no monopoly surplus for redistribution. Accordingly, labor unions have all but disappeared except in the public sector, where workers can fight for a bigger share of the tax dollar.

It is interesting to consider the two major capital-labor battles in the USA that rage as I write: the owners of the National Football and National Basketball Associations pitted against their players. Why is there a battle? Because the NFL and NBA both have charters granted by Congress that gives them monopoly rights. With these rights come monopoly profits, whence the logic of the Players' Associations. In a competitive sports framework, unions are simply not worth the candle.

Of course, Rodrik's is an attempt to articulate a liberal political philosophy for an era in which the traditional supports for the Democratic party have weakened. I do not think his well-meaning attempt will be successful.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Things missing 28. Dezember 2011
Von parmenides - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is a nice book that helps explain a great deal of present economic and financial dynamics. I liked very much its realistic (ie scientific) attitude towards the limits of globalization due to unavailability of global institutions of regulation and governance. The book does a good job in explaining the dangers and collateral damages of unrestricted trade and finance. However, the author never explains fully the political and economic powers that enforced globalization on EU and USA states. After reading the book you are not much wiser as to why European and American societies had to be disturbed and inflicted with mass unemployment and financial disasters before the problematic nature of all was realized again (cause
this has happened before). It is as if the lives of millions of Europeans that needed hundreds of years in order to achieve their remarkable social and economic order were part of a grotesque experiment.

Overall the book has some good ideas. But the discussions are not as direct as should have been and at places it all appears as a kind of postdisaster wishful thinking rather than an uncompromising analyses of the shaping forces of social and economic dynamics. Three stars for its correct conclusions.
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