Friday, June 9, 2017

Book Review: ECONOMICS OF GLOBALIZATION - A HANDBOOK


'ECONOMICS OF GLOBALIZATION - A HANDBOOK' by GAUTAM MUKERJEE is a welcome guide to clarify the growing sense of unease about all that globalization brings, which raises more questions than answers.
To the leading proponents of globalization, the secret to economic prosperity lies in finding ever-expanding markets.
For many among us, especially those who adorn leading positions, globalization is seen to be by far the best way to achieve economic development and end poverty for big chunks of humanity. This book begins with the history and mechanics of globalization, where tha author traces it all the way back to the early civilizations of Sumer (modern day Iraq) and the Indus Valley (an area that overlaps India and Pakistan) both of which existed log back, and explores its theoretical underlining. Topics like, what globalization means for the environment, the changing nature of work, wages and the complex world of finance and investment are examined next.
The discussion on globalization per se, now begins with a brief commentary on the events which led to it. Namely, the  remarkable advances in the processes of industrialization, a healthy amount of global profits, and a stable monetary value keeping the U.S. dollar high. How this caused the United States to emerge as a shining example of free market economics that other nations desired to emulate.
Next chapter describes the structure of globalization which is a combination of technological progress, elimination of trade barriers, and globalization of finance. Which is followed by thoughts on the globalization of economics, especially it's two extremes - convergence that can result in sharing of prosperity, or divergence that can make the world more polarized. The overall benefits, like, compression of space and time, speeding up of communication, fast movement of resources and capital, etc are discussed here. This is followed by an analysis of the environmental stresses due globalization.
What follows is a review of new challenges, our society may have to face, as a result of globalization. Like considerable changes in the distribution of income both within and between countries, which can create economic and social tensions. And how such instances may call upon governmental intervention frequently. Also, the way globalization increases the exposure of countries to external shocks but limits a country's options when it comes to balancing the domestic economic conditions with those of their trading partners. 
In completion, the book wraps up the subject with a look at the policy questions, and the long-term prospects for the global economy. And in the concluding chapter, the book also examines the puzzles and paradoxes associated with globalization.
This is a concise but effective description of the many facets of globalization. Some of these are not widely known and I learned a lot.

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