Book Reviews

11 maio, 2006

38) "Chutando a escada", encore...

Retomo o tema dos posts 5 e 6, abaixo, sobre o livro do professor Ha-Joon Chang, desta vez com comentários do professor Carlos Pio, da UnB, a apresentação feita pelo professor Chang em 2005, nessa universidade:

Comments made by Carlos Pio to Ha-Joon Chang’s presentation of his book Kicking Away the Ladder. Brasília, April 17, 2005.

General Questions
[PIO: “let’s not kick away the ladder of our unsuccessful development]
- Is development inevitable? If not, what does affect it?
- Do political institutions matter? Regime types?
- Does culture matters?
- What government policies help development most?
- Is there a non-capitalist way to development?
- Can development strategies pursued in the past serve well to promote development today?

Learning Process
- Who can teach a country how to develop faster and better than if it did not go to school? (developed countries? Intelligentsia from developing countries? IO’s?)
- What can we say about the timing, sequence, and agenda for development?

Role of the State
[PIO: To say that the state is important to provide development does not do much to our understanding of development processes]
- What can the state do for development that no other institution can? Ito what tasks does the State have a comparative advantage?
- What are the risks derived for the development process from the involvement of the state in the development agenda?
- Why countries like Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, South Africa, did so poorly after pursuing infant-industry protection policies when compared to countries that used those policies in the context of a export-oriented strategy?

Trade and Development
- Can we say that a country has developed because it was not too liberal, when liberalism simply points out what a country should do in order to grow more efficiently? In other words, would it be wrong to assume that developed countries could have developed even more efficiently had them adopted more liberal policies?

Politics of Trade Protection
[PIO: in Chang’s argument, who “kicks away the ladder” so that developing countries get trapped away from development: state officials, intellectuals, IO´s, businessmen, (…)?]
- These groups are not homogeneous; divergence (political, economic…) was always present;
- State officials and businessmen do not like trade liberalization and competition;
- Who really benefit from trade protection, society in general or just a few? To what extent can one say that the few beneficiaries will in fact invest their money in such a way that benefits the rest of society in the mean future?

Social Policies and Development in Friedrich List’s Time
[PIO: The Washington Consensus is a complex set of 10 economic advices for troubled governments]
- Is the WC a development agenda?
- Chang is right when he says that no developed country has pursued in full such an agenda during the time they were moving ahead. But it is also true that most of the developing countries today do not follow those ten commandments either.

- What was the social development agenda in the 18th-19th centuries, when there was a sensible spread of anti-liberal development regulations and policies?
• child labor, 16-18 hours labor journeys, and slavery were all accepted by governments in developing countries (e.g., the USA)
• absence of the state in labor protection
• absence of democracy
• adoption of policies that fostered a higher concentration if income was not politically contested
• producer’s rights overcame consumer’s rights

Como diriam alguns latino-americanos, o debate continua...


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