Depression, War, and Cold War: Studies in Political Economy

Oxford University Press
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Other books exist that warn of the dangers of empire and war. However, few, if any, of these books do so from a scholarly, informed economic standpoint. In Depression, War, and Cold War , Robert Higgs, a highly regarded economic historian, makes pointed, fresh economic arguments against war, showing links between government policies and the economy in a clear, accessible way. He boldly questions, for instance, the widely accepted idea that World War II was the chief reason the Depression-era economy recovered. The book as a whole covers American economic history from the Great Depression through the Cold War. Part I centers on the Depression and World War II. It addresses the impact of government policies on the private sector, the effects of wartime procurement policies on the economy, and the economic consequences of the transition to a peacetime economy after the victorious end of the war. Part II focuses on the Cold War, particularly on the links between Congress and defense procurement, the level of profits made by defense contractors, and the role of public opinion andnt ideological rhetoric in the maintenance of defense expenditures over time. This new book extends and refines ideas of the earlier book with new interpretations, evidence, and statistical analysis. This book will reach a similar audience of students, researchers, and educated lay people in political economy and economic history in particular, and in the social sciences in general.
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About the author

Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy for the Independent Institute and author of Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Jun 22, 2006
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9780195346084
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economic History
Political Science / Public Policy / Economic Policy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Tanzania in the 1970s was at the forefront of policy innovation. Near-universal primary education, access to health services and supplies of clean water subsequently became mainstream ambitions in Africa and elsewhere. But its policies towards agricultural and industrial production failed and left the country in a particularly weak position when it faced the demands of structural adjustment in the 1980s. This book, originally published in 1982, has been reissued with a new introduction which brings its themes up to the present, when income from gold mining and natural gas is making Tanzania one of the most dynamic economies in Africa today. The author, first an economic civil servant in Tanzania, later an academic at the University of Dar es Salaam, was in a unique position to write it, drawing on his own experiences as well as the plethora of ideas and debates in Dar es Salaam in the 1970s. The book has stood the test of time not only because of the range of material it covers but more profoundly because of the approach it takes to the work of Tanzania's founding president, Julius Nyerere - sympathetic to his ideas, deeply critical of failures in implementation. 25 short easily-read chapters take the story of Tanzania from pre-colonial times to the present, and show how Nyerere was hemmed in by what he inherited from the German and British colonialists who ran the country up to Independence in 1961. It provides an invaluable introduction to anyone coming to the country for the first time, and offers a profound assessment of the theoretical debates that have made Tanzania of such interest to students of development.
Universal basic income. A 15-hour workweek. Open borders. Does it sound too good to be true? One of Europe's leading young thinkers shows how we can build an ideal world today.
"A more politically radical Malcolm Gladwell." --New York Times
After working all day at jobs we often dislike, we buy things we don't need. Rutger Bregman, a Dutch historian, reminds us it needn't be this way-and in some places it isn't.

Rutger Bregman's TED Talk about universal basic income seemed impossibly radical when he delivered it in 2014. A quarter of a million views later, the subject of that video is being seriously considered by leading economists and government leaders the world over. It's just one of the many utopian ideas that Bregman proves is possible today.

Utopia for Realists is one of those rare books that takes you by surprise and challenges what you think can happen. From a Canadian city that once completely eradicated poverty, to Richard Nixon's near implementation of a basic income for millions of Americans, Bregman takes us on a journey through history, and beyond the traditional left-right divides, as he champions ideas whose time have come.

Every progressive milestone of civilization-from the end of slavery to the beginning of democracy-was once considered a utopian fantasy. Bregman's book, both challenging and bracing, demonstrates that new utopian ideas, like the elimination of poverty and the creation of the fifteen-hour workweek, can become a reality in our lifetime. Being unrealistic and unreasonable can in fact make the impossible inevitable, and it is the only way to build the ideal world.

Brilliant and engagingly written, Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped the experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine?

Is it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are?

Simply, no. None of these factors is either definitive or destiny. Otherwise, how to explain why Botswana has become one of the fastest growing countries in the world, while other African nations, such as Zimbabwe, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, are mired in poverty and violence?

Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson conclusively show that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or lack of it). Korea, to take just one of their fascinating examples, is a remarkably homogeneous nation, yet the people of North Korea are among the poorest on earth while their brothers and sisters in South Korea are among the richest. The south forged a society that created incentives, rewarded innovation, and allowed everyone to participate in economic opportunities.

The economic success thus spurred was sustained because the government became accountable and responsive to citizens and the great mass of people. Sadly, the people of the north have endured decades of famine, political repression, and very different economic institutions—with no end in sight. The differences between the Koreas is due to the politics that created these completely different institutional trajectories.

Based on fifteen years of original research Acemoglu and Robinson marshall extraordinary historical evidence from the Roman Empire, the Mayan city-states, medieval Venice, the Soviet Union, Latin America, England, Europe, the United States, and Africa to build a new theory of political economy with great relevance for the big questions of today, including:

- China has built an authoritarian growth machine. Will it continue to grow at such high speed and overwhelm the West?

- Are America’s best days behind it? Are we moving from a virtuous circle in which efforts by elites to aggrandize power are resisted to a vicious one that enriches and empowers a small minority?

- What is the most effective way to help move billions of people from the rut of poverty to prosperity? More philanthropy from the wealthy nations of the West? Or learning the hard-won lessons of Acemoglu and Robinson’s breakthrough ideas on the interplay between inclusive political and economic institutions?

Why Nations Fail will change the way you look at—and understand—the world. 
Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics

Get ready to change the way you think about economics.

Nobel laureate Richard H. Thaler has spent his career studying the radical notion that the central agents in the economy are humans—predictable, error-prone individuals. Misbehaving is his arresting, frequently hilarious account of the struggle to bring an academic discipline back down to earth—and change the way we think about economics, ourselves, and our world.

Traditional economics assumes rational actors. Early in his research, Thaler realized these Spock-like automatons were nothing like real people. Whether buying a clock radio, selling basketball tickets, or applying for a mortgage, we all succumb to biases and make decisions that deviate from the standards of rationality assumed by economists. In other words, we misbehave. More importantly, our misbehavior has serious consequences. Dismissed at first by economists as an amusing sideshow, the study of human miscalculations and their effects on markets now drives efforts to make better decisions in our lives, our businesses, and our governments.

Coupling recent discoveries in human psychology with a practical understanding of incentives and market behavior, Thaler enlightens readers about how to make smarter decisions in an increasingly mystifying world. He reveals how behavioral economic analysis opens up new ways to look at everything from household finance to assigning faculty offices in a new building, to TV game shows, the NFL draft, and businesses like Uber.

Laced with antic stories of Thaler’s spirited battles with the bastions of traditional economic thinking, Misbehaving is a singular look into profound human foibles. When economics meets psychology, the implications for individuals, managers, and policy makers are both profound and entertaining.

Shortlisted for the Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

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