""Justin Yifu Lin cracks the code of economic development in this extraordinary tour de force--offering a rare combination of personal experience, rigorous analysis, and empirical investigation. His powerful recipe will become an enduring feature of future development efforts.""--Stephen S. Roach, former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia and author ofThe Next Asia ""In this masterpiece, Justin Yifu Lin weaves together 250 years of economic thought with his own wisdom acquired during China's economic rise. He dares to envision the end of world poverty and spells out----thoughtfully, sensibly, and pragmatically--how this can be accomplished. It is impossible for an economist to write a better, or a more important, book.""--George A. Akerlof, Nobel Laureate in Economics ""Part personal narrative, part sophisticated economic analysis, this important book offers a new approach for accelerating economic development around the world. Justin Yifu Lin's exceptional grounding in Chinese realities and Chicago economics, as well as his extensive experience, shine throughout.""--Dani Rodrik, author ofThe Globalization Paradox: Democracy and the Future of the World Economy ""The Quest for Prosperityis an important book.
In the 1960s, conventional economic thinking was that Africa had "better conditions and opportunities for economic development" than did East Asia. Lin, the chief economist and senior vice president for the World Bank from 2008 to 2012, tackles prevailing shibboleths in this provocative and challenging work. Lin argues that "different countries... require different policy choices to facilitate growth"; indeed, developing nations that progressed industrially and technologically "rarely followed... the dominant development paradigm of the time." Lin concludes that the Soviet Stalinist model of modernization through industrialization provided a poor precedent for subsequent leaders whose zest for large capital-intensive projects was inappropriate, especially since developing nations rarely have abundant available capital. Lin focuses on the concept of comparative advantage, which indicates that nations should concentrate on "what they can produce best" and trade with other nations that do likewise. He extends this argument by linking a country's advantage to its factor endowments-the traditional elements of land, labor, and capital, as well as infrastructure. Lin embellishes his conceptual innovations with lessons from failures, successes, and strategies for implementing these ideas. While there is no easy answer to these problems, Lin's reminder that such development is not a "zero-sum game" suggests that his thoughtful study should resonate among international audiences. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Princeton University Press
September 09, 2012
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