Globalization And Its Discontents

Joseph E. Stiglitz
New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
Various Reviews

“Renowned economist and Nobel laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz spent seven years in Washington, serving as chairman of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers and as chief economist for the World Bank… Stiglitz had a ringside seat for most of the major economic events of the last decade, including the Asian economic crisis and the transition of the former Soviet economies, as well as the administration of development programs throughout the world… This book recounts Stiglitz’s experiences, opening a window on previously unseen aspects of global economic policy. It is designed to provoke a healthy debate and… shows us in poignant terms why developing nations feel the economic deck is stacked against them.”

Michael J. Mandel, Business Week, 17 June 2002

“The main point of the book is simple: Globalization is not helping many poor countries. Incomes are not rising in much of the world, and adoption of market-based policies such as open capital markets, free trade, and privatization are making developing economies less stable, not more. Instead of a bigger dose of free markets, Stiglitz argues, what’s needed to make globalization work better is more and smarter government intervention. While this has been said before, the ideas carry more weight coming from someone with Stiglitz’ credentials� In some ways, this book has the potential to be the liberal equivalent of Milton Friedman’s 1962 classic Capitalism and Freedom, which helped provide the intellectual foundation for a generation of conservatives. But Globalization and Its Discontents does not rise to the level of Capitalism and Freedom. While Stiglitz makes a strong case for government-oriented development policy, he ignores some key arguments in favor of the market.” … see review

Joseph Kahn, The New York Times, 23 June 2002

“While parts of this book are disappointingly shallow, Stiglitz’s critique of the market-driven 90’s still resonates, especially when the business pages are full of stories about white-collar crime and the stock market seems stuck in a perpetual rut. Even the United States cannot blithely assume that financial markets will work on autopilot. It is testament to the salience of Stiglitz’s arguments that many economists – even some Bush administration officials – now embrace his view that economic change in the developing world must evolve more with local conditions, not on Washington’s calendar. Without a thorough makeover, globalization could easily become a quagmire.” … see review

Eyal Press, The Nation, 10 June 2002

“Stiglitz, 58, is hardly the first person to accuse the IMF of operating undemocratically and exacerbating Third World poverty. But he is by far the most prominent, and his emergence as a critic marks an important shift in the intellectual landscape. Only a few years ago, it was possible for pundits to claim that no mainstream economist, certainly nobody of Stiglitz’s stature, took the criticism of free trade and globalization seriously. Such claims are no longer credible, for Stiglitz is part of a small but growing group of economists, sociologists and political scientists, among them Dani Rodrik of Harvard and Robert Wade of the London School of Economics, who not only take the critics seriously but warn that ignoring their concerns could have dire consequences.” … see review

Barry Eichengreen, Foreign Affairs, 1 July 2002

“Stiglitz’s book makes a compelling case that simple-minded economic doctrine, inadequately tailored to the realities of developing countries, can do more harm than good, and that the subtleties of economic theory are actually quite important for sound policy advice. But simplistic political advice – give developing countries more voice and the institutions of global governance will be rendered more legitimate and efficient – is equally problematic. Political reform is as subtle and complex as economic reform. Evidently, the best minds among us have only begun to think about it.” … see review

The book looks to previously unseen aspects of global economic policy.