It looks like you are located in Australia or New Zealand Close. Visit the Australia site Continue on UK site. Visit the Australia site. Continue on UK site. I am simplifying, of course. Not every recommendation of mainstream economics is incorrect. However, it is worth noting that in the areas where the IMF and World Bank told nations like South Korea and Malaysia what to do, that they ignored their advice, very little has changed. That is, the results have pretty convincingly demonstrated that mainstream advice to developing nations on how to improve their economies has been demonstrated to be false.
In a field like physics or chemistry, if the consensus model appears to be incorrect, in whole or in large parts, then there is a rush to change the model to improve this. Nothing of the sort has happened with economics, largely because the incentives for the working physicist or chemist to be the richly rewarded inventor of the new model that fixes the problem are different than the incentives of the working economist who is often paid to be more or less a spin-master for the status quo.
Some of the stuff in Bad Samaritans seems like shooting fish in a barrel. After seeing the rise of industrialized economies in Asia, that used high tariff walls and government sponsorship of new industries until they became competitive, do we really need to have pointed out that this is a better way to get rich or at least less poor than opening up your borders to far more technologically advanced economies? But, since mainstream economists of both right and left are still more or less pushing free trade between the Third World and the advanced economies, I guess it's still necessary to shoot the fish in this barrel, and Chang does a good job of refuting the globalization ideology.
A focus on inflation over unemployment, an emphasis on strong intellectual property laws, no support for developing industries, they all get a chapter and a bullet to the head. I do have some quibbles. He doesn't talk much about when free trade is a good idea, for example when nations such as France and Germany at about the same level of development or the different nations of Latin America which have significantly different levels of development but are closer to each other than they are to the U.
Or, perhaps Chang doesn't think Argentina and Brazil should be making free trade agreements with each other? We don't find out. Which brings me to the primary quibble I have with this book, which is that it is primarily aimed at convincing would-be do-gooders the so-called bad samaritans of the title that they should be adopting different policies towards the Third World than they are.
Little is said to Third World countries about what they should do, given the way the First World is currently acting and realistically can be expected to continue to act. If faced with the prospect of World Bank loans that have thick strings attached, when should they turn down the loan? Chang doesn't say, he just says the World Bank shouldn't attach those strings.
There's a considerable body of evidence that says that the UK was protectionist until they became top dog, and then became an advocate of free trade.
The US was in its turn protectionist using stiff tariff walls to keep out cheaper UK manufactured goods until they were top dog, and then they in turn began to advocate free trade. China has adopted similar policies sometimes using subsidies or cheap loans instead of tariffs , and if current trends continue they can be expected to switch and become the chief advocates of free trade in ten years.
But, what if you're not as big as the U. Chang also does a good job of outlining the history of intellectual property laws short story: whoever is ahead, wants strong ones, everyone else isn't so sure, including the U.
But exactly what he is advocating, aside from "not so strong", is not clear. In practice most Asian tigers pretended to have IP enforcement, but didn't really, until they got rich enough to have lots of IP of their own that they wanted protected. Perhaps Chang's vagueness is because what he is really advocating is a calculated vagueness on the issue, and he is demonstrating by example? In the end, Chang does a good job of exposing how and why the current advice to developing countries is aimed more at serving the aims of the ones giving the advice, than the ones being advised.
But, realistically, this can be expected to continue. Perhaps that is for the next book. By the time that comes out, perhaps we will be ready for a few chapters on how a formerly preeminent manufacturing power can regain their position, as well. Feb 17, Willowwind rated it it was amazing.
A detailed rebuttal of free market ideology for the lay person from an award winning Cambridge economist born and raised in pre-industrial Korea. The author shows how the free market policies imposed by the IMF and World Bank have seriously damaged developing countries as well as setting the record straight about how the current industrial giants far from practicing free trade consistently protected their infant industries. This excellent and lucid book also deconstructs free market ideology i A detailed rebuttal of free market ideology for the lay person from an award winning Cambridge economist born and raised in pre-industrial Korea.
This excellent and lucid book also deconstructs free market ideology itself, showing where many of its tenets not only have not worked but are simply wrong in their conception. Another wake up call to the current American political values and the social morass they have led to.
Feb 20, Andrew Price rated it really liked it Shelves: economics , history. Excellent little book that easily refutes neoliberal, free trade dogma. Ha-Joon Chang isn't against trade, he just believes developing countries should act first in their own interest to protect industry and build a manufacturing base before they open up.
Ironically, this is what many, if not most of the developed nations have done, and of course it is the exact opposite advice we give to developing countries in Africa and South America etc.
By prescribing the latter, we are making sure those de Excellent little book that easily refutes neoliberal, free trade dogma. By prescribing the latter, we are making sure those developing countries remain poor and impoverished. Jul 02, Nathan Fisher rated it liked it. There is no book that has changed my beliefs about Economics as much as this book.
One of the things that I loved about this book is that before the author attacks any idea, he would present first all the arguments that are for this idea and then dismantle it one by one with both logic and empirical evidence from history.
The main ideas that the writer disagrees with are. Protecting industries that do not need protection anymore is more likely to make them complacent and inefficient, as [Adam] Smith observed. Much of this is thanks to the fact that South Korea aggressively traded with the outside world and actively absorbed foreign technologies while North Korea followed its doctrine of self-sufficiency.
Indeed, had South Korea pursued free trade and not promoted infant industries, it would not have become a major trading nation. It would still be exporting raw materials.. In income per capita in purchasing power terms was one-third of its level in In Indonesia the money from corruption stayed inside the country, creating jobs and incomes. In Zaire, much of the corrupt money was shipped overseas.
Moreover, cultures change; so, it is wrong to treat culture as destiny. View 2 comments. Nov 21, blakeR rated it really liked it Shelves: favorites , political-science , history.
This is a must-read for anyone who pays even modest attention to modern economics. If you are such a person, you're chronically exposed to a toxic sea of neoliberal propaganda -- free trade, open markets, globalization, blahbity blah blah -- even the most liberal experts like Paul Krugman spew it forth. Spending a lifetime in such a poisonous environment is bound to make you sick, but luckily Chang has an antidote concocted of cold, hard historical fact.
I already knew a lot of this in theory but This is a must-read for anyone who pays even modest attention to modern economics. I already knew a lot of this in theory but lacked the details to support a meaningful argument, so this book is a valuable resource for anyone else in my boat. Learning about Korea, Japan, Germany and the Scandinavian bloc -- much less the uber-protectionist history of the U. I won't go into the details -- Chang's book is short enough and accessible enough that you really just need to pick it up and hang out for a few days -- but I will say specifically that his chapter on culture was indispensable.
In a handful of pages Chang largely succeeds in dispelling the myth that countries don't develop because they have a poor or "lazy" culture. Instead, he cites compelling evidence that our notions of culture are not only subjective but discriminatory and self-reinforcing, and that the same countries apparently have vastly different cultures depending on how their economy is doing.
What Westerners used to say about Japan and Germany was particularly eye-opening; they essentially used the same insults in the early 20th century that people now reserve for Africa and Latin America. Chang argues convincingly that common cultural slights -- lazy, unambitious, not good planners, etc.
Furthermore, Chang points out that blaming culture for the economic ills of a country is inappropriately fatalistic, as most people believe culture to be static. He notes various cases which dispel the notion. There are too many good passages to mark, so I'll just highly recommend that everyone read it. If you're reading this review, you're interested enough in economics to make this book vital.
It's not perfect: Chang is somewhat repetitive and there are too many typos. But it is important and even entertaining, and I guarantee you'll be glad you read it unless you're a neoliberal, and then you're in for some discomfort -- but still, ultimately glad I suspect.
Not Bad Reviews pointblaek I don't always read books on economy and politics, but when I do All kidding aside, this is the third book by Chang I've read. The first one was the very informative Economie: de gebruiksaanwijzing Orig.
You can read my Dutch review here. The other one was 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism my [Dutch] review here , which also provided a lot of interesting information on capitalism, the economy, and related things.
What it's basically about - I won't go into much detail, as economics isn't my field of specialty: free trade vs protectionism. The West vs the East vs the South. Or more specifically, the rich western countries, including the un holy trinity of The World Bank, the IMF and the World Trade Organisation WTO , imposing rules and ways of economics development on poor er countries, so those western countries can more easily trade and even invade those countries.
It's about the pot calling the kettle black. Each country had to start somewhere, either with free trade or with protectionism to let its national companies grow and improve their performance.
But rich western countries don't like limitations, as they want to earn as much money as possible. Who doesn't, ey? Anyway, even those rich western countries have known periods of protectionism to let their companies grow to be able to compete with foreign companies.
Either they blocked products or certain sectors, or they provided subsidies, or invested in a different way. That's sometimes what some of those developing countries want ed to do, but couldn't or weren't allowed because of certain trade agreements.
Sometimes developing or poor countries can't take off due to copyright, patents, intellectual property, and so on. Do as I say, not as I do. Chang once again wrote an eye-opening book and allows you to look at economy with a different view. Nowadays, the book has become very actual again, as US-president Trump wants to and will?
Tariffs were also used by western countries, by eastern countries, and were something the western ones were opposing when wanting to trade or invest in those eastern countries. Some of those countries have totally changed their behaviour and culture in the last few decades. Yes, culture is also an aspect that influences or is influenced by economic development. He also showed how one solution may work for country x, but not necessarily country y.
In case you wondered, corruption is also addressed in this book, for good and for bad. Corruption is part of the game, but not always as we think it is. The book should be accessible for a large audience, as Chang tried to keep the language as simple as possible, despite the not-so-accessible subject. Everyone, in fact, can learn something from these or such books. Nov 27, Void lon iXaarii rated it it was ok.
This book brings out very interesting facts and perspectives, and some beautiful historical data that you rarely find referenced. It's a pity this leads the author to very pre-selected conclusions. You know, i never really got why Mises insisted in his treaty of economics to first analyze things on a pure logic abstract level. Now I do: as he apparently knew even almost a century ago, one can use history to argue quite opposing views, by picking data and times from a complex system, and indeed m This book brings out very interesting facts and perspectives, and some beautiful historical data that you rarely find referenced.
Now I do: as he apparently knew even almost a century ago, one can use history to argue quite opposing views, by picking data and times from a complex system, and indeed many do. I find highly dubious that he puts the freedom of a nation state above the freedom of the individual. He must believe that he or people like him will then be able to then guide the individuals with their all knowing powers Why should proud powerful people have the power to manipulate the choices of their countrymen just so that in a talk amongst them they can brag who's country is the most powerful or skilled in a certain area?
For example a big point of his is arguing for protectionism and directed economies, which are exactly that: the freedom to choose of a nation distorted so that somebody up high can tell the people which industry to focus on. That's fine if those people had godly powers, but if they happen to be human like us, what if they steer the masses in a direction that you don't want?
Sure, it's great if they decide to focus on a certain industry you work in or are benefited from, but what if they use their tariffs or subsidies to guide towards one that's wasteful, or just useless or unimportant to you? As an example of the authors powers of sneaky persuasion at one point he uses the emotional logic of saying that protecting an infant industry is like him investing in his young son and saying how cruel it would him for him not to help him while he is young.
True, but the sneakiness in his manipulative example lies in the fact that that in fact a country doesn't have only one son So let's go back to his example: lets say he didn't have 1 but 10 sons, and you happen to be one of them. And lets also be realistic and say that no family has infinite resources, so if it happens that a good university is in a distant place with many living and learning expenses: it may be that the family has only enough resources to 'protect' one of it's suns.
Of course everybody arguing such things believes they are the gifted ones who'd get the perks, but what if you happen to be one of the other 9? What if you were born later or were a slow kid only showing gifts later, and by that time that family money has been spent? That is the case with countries: there are myriad industries to pick ones, and often the best ones for the future are yet so small that the government doesn't even have a name for them as they are yet only practiced in the garages of young entrepreneurs?
In that case all the wise choices of their overlords directing growth are actually taking resources away from what would be most important to the people, what would make them most happy, all in the name of "they know better what the people want than the people", a logic we've seen often through history, along with it's often painful consequences.
I'm not saying that sometimes, in some cases, in some few obvious things they might get it right Aug 28, Ushan rated it liked it Shelves: economics. In , when the author was born, South Korea was one of the world's poorest countries, with half the per capita income of Ghana. The fratricidal war with interventions by the United States and China had destroyed half her industry and three quarters of her railways.
The country's principal exports were fish, tungsten, and wigs made of human hair. In , when the author finished high school, South Korea was a middle-income country, on par with Ecuador.
In , when he was an adult professor In , when the author was born, South Korea was one of the world's poorest countries, with half the per capita income of Ghana.
In , when he was an adult professor of economics, she was an upper-middle income country, on part with Portugal. She has since left Portugal behind, and is now a rich country on par with Italy; her principal exports are semiconductors, computers, ships, cars, and steel. The way South Korea did it was to limit her imports in school, Chang was told to report to the authorities anyone smoking foreign cigarettes , and expand her exports in order to accumulate the capital necessary for launching the new industries.
A lot of the new industries were state-owned; their management was focusing not on short-term profits, but on the long-term industrialization of the country. The ruthless exploitation of the workers that this entailed was incompatible with democracy, so the country was a military dictatorship through much of the period.
This book claims that the rich countries, through the "Bad Samaritan" institutions of the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO, deliberately hurt the poor countries by forcing them to adopt neo-liberal policies such as free trade, low tariffs and privatization; they would be better off following in South Korea's footsteps.
In fact, says the author, that is what most rich countries themselves did when they industrialized. Now, in order for South Korea to be able to export so much, there had to be a market for her exports.
The market was the United States, which wanted to support this outpost of anti-Communism. Now, all the poor countries could not follow in South Korea's footsteps because they do not have wealthy patrons like that; how could all the poor countries limit their imports and expand their exports if they trade with each other? Best Epub - by Gwen Bibber Kimball. Burton David W. Desk Reference Staff. Helens Read Online - by Craig Romano.
J Zajac. The listed books cannot be read or kept on a military base. The ministry argued that it might cause misunderstanding among the readers about the free market economy. The army argued that the book promotes anti-government and anti-American ideology.
American linguist Noam Chomsky said: "It is unfortunate that the Ministry of National Defense is afraid of freedom and is trying to control people. In South Korea, in OhmyNews , Gabsoo Kim said that Bad Samaritans pointed out the errors of a global standard that leading countries like the US use to compel a developing country to adopt the liberal market economy. Kim mentioned the book as very pro-capitalistic as Chang is a scholar who thoroughly trusts capitalism.