What is economics?
What can - and can't - it explain about the world?
Why does it matter?
Ha-Joon Chang teaches economics at Cambridge University, and writes a column for the Guardian. The Observer called his book 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism, which was a no.1 bestseller, 'a witty and timely debunking of some of the biggest myths surrounding the global economy.' He won the Wassily Leontief Prize for advancing the frontiers of economic thought, and is a vocal critic of the failures of our current economic system.
Ha-Joon Chang's 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism turns received economic wisdom on its head to show you how the world really works.
In this revelatory book, Ha-Joon Chang destroys the biggest myths of our times and shows us an alternative view of the world, including:
<ul><li>There's no such thing as a 'free' market</li><li>Globalization isn't making the world richer</li><li>We don't live in a digital world - the washing machine has changed lives more than the internet</li><li>Poor countries are more entrepreneurial than rich ones</li><li>Higher paid managers don't produce better results</li></ul>
We don't have to accept things as they are any longer. Ha-Joon Chang is here to show us there's a better way.
'Lively, accessible and provocative ... read this book' <br /> Sunday Times
'A witty and timely debunking of some of the biggest myths surrounding the global economy' <br /> Observer
'The new kid on the economics block ... Chang's iconoclastic attitude has won him fans' <br /> Independent on Sunday
'Lucid ... audacious ... increasingly influential ... will provoke physical symptoms of revulsion if you are in any way involved in high finance'
'Important ... persuasive ... an engaging case for a more caring era of globalization' <br /> Financial Times
'A must-read ... incisive and entertaining' <br /> New Statesman Books of the Year
Ha-Joon Chang is a Reader in the Political Economy of Development at the University of Cambridge. He is author of Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective, which won the 2003 Gunnar Myrdal Prize, and Bad Samaritans: Rich Nations, Poor Policies and the Threat to the Developing World. Since the beginning of the 2008 economic crisis, he has been a regular contributor to the Guardian, and a vocal critic of the failures of our economic system.
It's rare that a book appears with a fresh perspective on world affairs, but renowned economist Ha-Joon Chang has some startlingly original things to say about the future of globalization. In theory, he argues, the world's wealthiest countries and supra-national institutions like the IMF, World Bank and WTO want to see all nations developing into modern industrial societies. In practice, though, those at the top are 'kicking away the ladder' to wealth that they themselves climbed.
Why? Self-interest certainly plays a part. But, more often, rich and powerful governments and institutions are actually being 'Bad Samaritans': their intentions are worthy but their simplistic free-market ideology and poor understanding of history leads them to inflict policy errors on others. Chang demonstrates this by contrasting the route to success of economically vibrant countries with the very different route now being dictated to the world's poorer nations. In the course of this, he shows just how muddled the thinking is in such key areas as trade and foreign investment. He shows that the case for privatisation and against state involvement is far from proven. And he explores the ways in which attitudes to national cultures and political ideologies are obscuring clear thinking and creating bad policy. Finally, he argues the case for new strategies for a more prosperous world that may appall the 'Bad Samaritans'.
Ha-Joon Chang is a Cambridge economist who, for the past two decades, has taught and researched issues related to economic development and globalisation. He has also worked as a consultant for the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, various UN agencies and for the governments of Brazil, Canada, Japan, South Africa, the UK, and Venezuela. He has published numerous articles and books, including Kicking Away the Ladder - Development Strategy in Historical Perspective, which won the 2003 Myrdal Prize and has been translated into seven languages . In 2005, he and Richard Nelson of Columbia University received the Leontief Prize. He has been on the editorial board of the Cambridge Journal of Economics since 1992.