Arnold Kling  

Book Update: Available for Order

A Proposal to Save Jobs... Lessons from Banking History...

Finally, From Poverty to Prosperity is available for order at Amazon. It will be in stock there in a few days.

I should warn you that it is an intellectually heavy book. It is not the sort of thing that can be digested on a single plane ride. It also does not offer neat answers wrapped and tied up with a bow.

For example, we present conflicting views on the relative importance of formal institutions vs. culture as determinants of the standard of living. We quote Nobel Laureate Edmund Phelps, who says,

differences across countries with respect to certain well-defined institutions were not as important as the prevailing differences in economic culture

Yet we also report and emphasize the differences in standard of living between North and South Korea, which presumably are not caused primarily by cultural differences.

Overall, compared with what you learn in introductory economics, the book puts much more emphasis on entrepreneurs and innovation. It also puts much more emphasis on both institutions and culture.

COMMENTS (5 to date)
Joel writes:

You had me at "intellectually heavy," you had me again at "entrepreneurs and innovation," and you had me a third time at "institutions and culture."

(Based on the projected arrival date, I'm probably going to end up reading it on a plane ride despite your warning.)

Mitch Oliver writes:

I'd like to know who got their hands on a copy so they could sell it used for that bounty.

Les writes:

Congratulations on your new book, and on finally navigating it through the rapids of the publisher and of Amazon.

I very much appreciate your many insightful postings on this site, and look forward to reading both of your new books.

Mike Rulle writes:

"I should warn you that it is an intellectually heavy book."

Now you tell me, after I already ordered from B&N.


Edmund S. Phelps writes:

Arnold Kling cites findings of mine that differences in culture are more important than differences in institutions, then comments that differences in institutions are sometimes decisive. I'm grateful for the cite but would like to note that my data were from the early 1990s set of OECD countries. It is among those countries that differences in culture appear to be the more important.

But I wonder whether Arnold's example of North Korea and South Korea are really a telling example of the power of institutions. Is it the former's institutions that are holding it back? Or is it the crazy economic culture of Kim Jong-il and his clan?

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