nep-pke New Economics Papers
on Post Keynesian Economics
Issue of 2007‒10‒20
four papers chosen by
Karl Petrick
University of the West Indies

  1. "Globalization and the Changing Trade Debate Suggestions for a New Agenda" By Thomas I. Palley
  3. The Social Consequences of Economic Globalization By Dumont M.
  4. Moldova?s Middle-Income ?Mistaken Identity?: The Severe Income and Human Development Costs By John Weeks

  1. By: Thomas I. Palley
    Abstract: The failure of the Doha Development Round of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations in July 2006 was the first major collapse of a multilateral trade round since World War II. Research Associate Thomas I. Palley sees the failure as an event that could mark the close of a 60-year era of trade policy largely centered on increasing market access and reducing tariffs, quotas, and subsidies. Doha’s demise represents an opportunity to challenge the intellectual dominance of the current WTO paradigm, to expose the failings of the neoliberal model of economic development, and to reposition the global trade debate.
    Date: 2007–07
  2. By: Hillinger, Claude
    Abstract: This paper has two sources: One is my own research in three broad areas: business cycles, economic measurement and social choice. In all of these fields I attempted to apply the basic precepts of the scientific method as it is understood in the natural sciences. I found that my effort at using natural science methods in economics was met with little understanding and often considerable hostility. I found economics to be driven less by common sense and empirical evidence, than by various ideologies that exhibited either a political or a methodological bias, or both. This brings me to the second source: Several books have appeared recently that describe in historical terms the ideological forces that have shaped either the direct areas in which I worked, or a broader background. These books taught me that the ideological forces in the social sciences are even stronger than I imagined on the basis of my own experiences. The scientific method is the antipode to ideology. I feel that the scientific work that I have done on specific, long standing and fundamental problems in economics and political science have given me additional insights into the destructive role of ideology beyond the history of thought orientation of the works I will be discussing.
    Keywords: Business cycles, Ideology, Science, Voting, Welfare measurement
    JEL: B40 C50 D6 D71 E32
    Date: 2007
  3. By: Dumont M.
    Abstract: If mainstream international trade theories overwhelmingly point out the welfare to be gained by all countries in reducing trade barriers, some of these theories also clearly imply that trade liberalisation is not neutral, e.g. in terms of income distribution. International trade competition, alongside with technological change, has been considered as a possible explanation for increased wage inequality in some industrialized countries. In some recent theories, free trade is shown to be potentially detrimental to technologically lagging countries. If this would be the case, trade liberalisation could actually hamper rather than spur economic growth in developing countries. In this chapter, a critical review is proposed of some theoretical and empirical arguments in favour or in opposition to economic globalisation as a way to reduce the welfare gap between developed and developing countries or as a threat to the social cohesion in (ageing) developed countries.
    Date: 2006–10
  4. By: John Weeks (Professor Emeritus, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London)
    Abstract: The newly independent Republic of Moldova joined the World Bank and the IMF in 1992. The World Bank designated it a ?middle-income? country, a status it retained for Bretton Woods lending until 1997. The middle-income designation implied that the government of Moldova was not eligible for concessionary lending from the World Bank and IMF, and would not receive concessionary finance from the major bilateral development agencies. After demonstrating that assigning middle-income status to Moldova was a mistake, which was implicitly conceded by the World Bank in 1997, this Country Study investigates the consequences. It uses a simple procedure for calculating counterfactual scenarios based on assigning Moldova low-income status in the early 1990s. The counterfactual scenarios suggest that the development and welfare costs of the mistake were extremely high: a much greater fall in income per capita than would otherwise have been the case, with an associated increase in headcount poverty and lower life expectancy. There is a cruel irony associated with this mistake. Had Moldova been designated a low-income country in the early 1990s, it would have been by the mid-2000s a middle-income country instead of remaining the poorest country in Europe. Thus, there is a strong case for multilateral compensation.
    Keywords: Moldova; Income; Human Development Costs; Poverty
    Date: 2007–10

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