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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Globalization: Some Fairly-Recent Should- and Must-Reads [feedly]

There is always SOMETHING good in Brad's voracious reading! He is kinda crazy sometimes, but a keen observer. He has a weird thing about Marx: at least three times a year he engages in tipping his hat to Marx on some question, shortly followed by lengthy "refutations of Marxism".....funny: why would it need such "repeated refutes"?


Globalization: Some Fairly-Recent Should- and Must-Reads

http://www.bradford-delong.com/2018/08/globalization-some-fairly-recent-should-and-must-reads.html

  • Marti SandbuEuroTragedy: A Drama in Nine Acts, by Ashoka Mody: "Writing about the euro... doing justice to the technicalities threatens to kill any narrative, while simplified storytelling risks misguided analysis. Ashoka Mody's... is an ambitious attempt to avoid this trap...

  • We really do not know what effect a trade war would have on the global economy. All of our baselines are based off of what has happened in the past, long before the age of highly integrated global value chains. It could be small. It could be big. The real forecast is: we just do not yet know: Dan McCrumTrade tension and China : "The war on trade started by the Trump administration is percolating through the world's analytical apparatus.... Tariffs could be bad for the global pace of economic activity, but only if the economic warfare escalates...

  • It has always seemed to me that the sharp Josh Bivens is engaging in some motivated reasoning here: "[1] Putting pen-to-paper on trade agreements contributed nothing to aggregate job loss in American manufacturing. This is almost certainly true.... [2] The trade agreements we have signed are mostly good policy and have had only very modest regressive downsides for American workers. This is false." How am I supposed to reconcile [1] and [2] here?: Josh Bivens (2017): Brad DeLong is far too lenient on trade policy's role in generating economic distress for American workers on Brad DeLong(2017): NAFTA and other trade deals have not gutted American manufacturing—period: "I could rant with the best of them about our failure to be a capital-exporting nation financing the industrialization of the world...

  • My More Polite Thoughts from Aspen...

  • Early industrial Japan did marvelous things. It accomplished something unique: transferring enough industrial technology outside of the charmed circles of the North Atlantic and the temperate-climate European settler economies. Ever since, politicians, economists, and pretty much everybody else have been trying to determine just what it was Japan was ale to do, and why. But it was a low-wage semi-industrial civilization, economizing on land, materials, and capital and sweating labor: Pietra Rivoli (2005): The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade (New York: John Riley: 0470456426) https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0470456426: "Female cotton workers in prewar Japan were referred to as 'birds in a cage'...

  • Edith Laget, Alberto Osnago, Nadia Rocha, and Michele RutaTrade agreements and global production: "Deeper agreements have boosted countries' participation in global value chains and helped them integrate in industries with higher levels of value added. Investment and competition now drive global value chain participation in North-South relationships, while removing traditional barriers remains important for South-South relationships...

  • Wealth inequality measures have been grossly understating concentration because of tax evasion and tax avoidance in tax havens: Annette Alstadsæter, Niels Johannesen, and GabrielZucmanWho owns the wealth in tax havens? Macro evidence and implications for global inequality: "This paper estimates the amount of household wealth owned by each country in offshore tax havens...

  • Jared Bernstein[Trump did a bunch of stuff to strengthen the dollar; now he's upset about the strengthening dollar(https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2018/07/20/trump-did-a-bunch-of-stuff-to-strengthen-the-dollar-nows-hes-upset-about-the-strengthening-dollar/?noredirect=on&utmterm=.576fbc1e4803)_: "Trump is annoyed that the Fed is raising rates and that the stronger dollar is making our exports less competitive...

  • Paul KrugmanBrexit Meets Gravity: "These days I'm writing a lot about trade policy. I know there are more crucial topics, like Alan Dershowitz. Maybe a few other things? But getting and spending go on; and to be honest, in a way I'm doing trade issues as a form of therapy and/or escapism, focusing on stuff I know as a break from the grim political news...

  • A Britain led by Theresa May or Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbin will not "rediscover its own way... the British rae most resilient, most inventive, and happiest when they feel in control of their own future". That is simply wrong. And if it were right, May and Johnson and Corbin are not Churchill or Lloyd-George or even Salisbury: Robert SkidelskyThe British History of Brexit: "I am unpersuaded by the Remain argument that leaving the EU would be economically catastrophic for Britain...

  • Paul Krugman: "Maybe it's worth laying out the incoherence of Trump's trade war a bit more, um, coherently...

  • IMHO, betting that "even the Tory Party can spot a wrong 'un" seems a lot like drawing to an inside straight: Dan Davies: "The hard brexit types have been bounced into deal which has taught them that they're not as clever as they thought they were. Now they'll react to that with a leadership challenge which will teach them that they're not as popular as they thought they were. It's like education in the Montessori system-each little independence of discovery builds on the next..."

  • Anne ApplebaumBrexit is reaching its grim moment of truth—and the Brexiteers know it: "David Davis... and Boris Johnson.... At no point... have they or any of their Brexiteer colleagues offered what might be described as a viable alternative plan. That is because there isn't one...

  • Trade around the Indian Ocean before 1500 was a largely peaceful, stable process. Empires, kingdoms, sultanates, and emirates ruled the lands around the ocean, but they did not have the naval strength or the orientation to even think of trying to control the ocean's trade. Pirates were pirates—but only attacked weak targets, and needed bases, and for the land-based kingdoms providing bases for pirates disrupted their own trade. Then came 1500, and a new entity appeared in the Indian Ocean: the Portuguese seaborne empire: [Non-Market Actors in a Market Economy: A Historical Parable): From David Abernethy (2000), The Dynamics of Global Dominance: European Overseas Empires 1415-1980 (New Haven: Yale), p. 242 ff: "Malacca... located on the Malayan side of the narrow strait... the principal center for maritime trade among Indian Ocean emporia, the Spice Islands, and China...

  • Alex Barker and Peter CampbellHonda faces the real cost of Brexit in a former Spitfire plant: "Honda operates two cavernous warehouses.... They still only store enough kit to keep production of the Honda Civic rolling for 36 hours...

  • The big problem China will face in a decade is this: an aging near-absolute monarch who does not dare dismount is itself a huge source of instability. The problem is worse than the standard historical pattern that imperial succession has never delivered more than five good emperors in a row. The problem is the again of a formerly good emperor. Before modern medicine one could hope that the time of chaos between when the grip on the reins of the old emperor loosened and the grip of the new emperor tightened would be short. But in the age of modern medicine that is certainly not the way to bet. Thus monarchy looks no more attractive than demagoguery today. We can help to build or restore or remember our "republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government". An autocracy faced with the succession and the dotage problems does not have this option. Once they abandon collective aristocratic leadership in order to manage the succession problem, I see little possibility of a solution. And this brings me to Martin Wolf. China's current trajectory is not designed to generate durable political stability: Martin WolfHow the west should judge the claimsof a rising China: "Chinese political stability is fragile...

  • Brad Setser"Larry Summers on Trump and trade:: 'From tweet to tweet, official to official, nobody can tell what his priorities are.' Certainly rings true to me. I have almost stopped trying to guess. Even for China:"


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