The Wealth of the World and the Poverty of Nations
148 pp., 6 x 8 in,
- Published: March 17, 1998
- Publisher: The MIT Press
Cohen argues that our own propensity for transforming the nature of work has created a niche for globalization and given it an ominous dimension, causing some to reject it. Pursuing this erroneous line of thought will place the battle for social welfare "on the sidelines" when it should be fought "on the inside."
The present situation, in which poor nations are becoming richer and rich nations poorer, gives credence to the idea that the former phenomenon is responsible for the latter. The great fear of many in the West is that trade with India, China, or the former Soviet Union will cause a collapse of the welfare state and of society's well-being."Globalization" has become a loaded term. Should we believe, literally, that trade with poor nations can be blamed for our "impoverishment"? In this book, Daniel Cohen claims that there is practically no foundation for such an alarmist position. We need to reverse the commonly held view that globalization has caused today's insecure labor market. On the contrary, Cohen argues, our own propensity for transforming the nature of work has created a niche for globalization and given it an ominous dimension, causing some to reject it. Pursuing this erroneous line of thought will place the battle for social welfare "on the sidelines" when it should be fought "on the inside." Such errors in analysis must not persist; as Cohen says, the stakes are too high.
Few authors manage to combine clearity of exposition and sophistication of the analysis. Daniel Cohen succeeds in doing this. The result is a book that sheds new light on the major problems of the day, poverty, and unemployment and that will be useful for economists and non-economists.
Paul De Grauwe, Department of Economics, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Brilliant from beginning to end. From the role of corruption in perpetuating poverty in Africa, to the role of exposure to world markets in Asian growth, to the role of trade in the breakup of nations, to the effects of inequality and lower growth on politics and policy in Western Europe, Cohen makes sense of the complex changes taking place in front of us. A tour de force.
Olivier Blanchard, Department of Economics, MIT