The Globalization Paradox by Dani Rodrik

The Globalization Paradox by Dani Rodrik

Author:Dani Rodrik
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Published: 2011-08-15T16:00:00+00:00

8

Trade Fundamentalism in the Tropics

In March 1960, James Meade, a Cambridge don and future Nobel Prize winner for his research in international economics, traveled to the British colony of Mauritius with a small team of economists. The island was getting ready for independence, which it would acquire in 1968. The British fretted about the country’s prospects under self-rule, shorn of support from London. Meade, a left-leaning economist and admirer of Keynes, had been invited by the island’s British governor to survey the economy and make proposals for its future development.

Meade stood for a practical, commonsense brand of economics, and his eventual recommendations would reflect this pragmatism. However, three decades after his trip to Mauritius, development economics was transformed beyond recognition and became dominated by a vision that elevated free markets and free trade above all else. The central insights of Meade and his contemporaries—the need to tailor reforms to local circumstances and for proactive government policies to stimulate structural transformation—were shunted aside. It is only recently that these older insights have been resuscitated and are being reincorporated into thinking on development strategy. This chapter recounts this strange tale of the loss and (partial) recovery of common sense.



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