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We can view economic growth as a local search Disclaimer: This review is from the perspective of a machine learning specialist with a basic undergraduate knowledge of economics. We can view economic growth as a local search problem in this labor-space. The past centuries have seen extraordinary amounts of labor specialization, to the extent that most humans today produce few or zero goods that are actually directly consumable.

We can imagine this specialization physically as an explosive movement in labor-space.

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Kling stresses several times that this is a humanizing view of economic activity. Rather than viewing an economy as a machine which is powered by interest rates and price levels, we see it as a fizzing mass of specialized human activity which constantly rearranges itself into new patterns. This is not just a cute analogy. One of the key ways that this dual can improve over a macro-econ picture is in its capacity to explain "dynamic adjustment" — i.

In the physical analogy above, we can see dynamic adjustment as a string of particles wandering into unexplored patches of labor-space. If the new specialization patterns are discovered to be profitable, these patches become basins of attraction. The monolithic "GDP-factory" Kling's term view of the macroeconomy does not account for these dynamic adjustments.

While I find the thesis or at least my reading of it! As you can expect from Kling, it's very well written and manages to explain complicated things to an econ-dummy like me. But I think the book tries to do far too much. The majority of the book is a rehashing of GMU-style Econ , with a mention of the phrase "patterns of specialization and trade" thrown in every 5 pages or so. As someone who has gotten plenty of GMU-style Econ from Russ Roberts and Arnold Kling already, I found it tedious to page through all of this just to figure out which parts exactly were the novel ones related to the book's thesis.

I was caught off-guard when my Kindle told me that I had finished the book. There was altogether too much content which was either introductory "here's how the economy works" or negative "here's why the MIT guys were wrong" which distracted from the new ideas that I really wanted to understand.

I would very much like to see a separate work a paper, perhaps! Would it be antithetical to ask for some mathematical models? A simulation? Some discussion of how all this talk quantitatively fits real-world data? Overall 4 stars. Useful resources: If you'd like to try the book out, you can find it in digital version for free at libertarianism.

But do pay the author if you think it's worth it! Dec 21, Alex rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Economists professionals and amateurs. Shelves: economics. Specialization and Trade is the kind of economic text that the world needs more of. Kling is heterodox through and through, using whatever approach he sees as reasonable no matter how many traditions he breaks with.

The Practitioner's Challenge - Econlib

At the same time, he really knows how to make himself understood and his reasoning transparent. The result is a book that's both innovative and a didactic masterpiece. If I don't rate it higher, then that's mainly because Kling is all over the place, talking about various methodologi Specialization and Trade is the kind of economic text that the world needs more of. If I don't rate it higher, then that's mainly because Kling is all over the place, talking about various methodological issues, the influence of the Fed, the shortcomings of Keynes , the role of economics in general and the effects of the division of labor.

His ideas are more loosely connected and run across across a broader range than the title of the work suggests, yet they aren't complete enough to form a whole system. Specialization and Trade felt like it wanted to deal with a very particular issue but instead ended up a kind of unfinished systematic treatise.

Even then, it's a great book that stands strong against the pseudoscientific tendencies of modern economics. Jul 10, Allen Ng rated it it was amazing. This is a book that I'll recommend to students of economics who have finished grad school and just joined public policy: "Read this book. It is short but contains many useful lessons that call for much unlearning and rethinking. You will understand the ideas in this books, but not their full importance now. You will learn to appreciate them with experience. This book is a good synthesis of his ideas. Jul 29, Josh rated it it was amazing.

A small but clear book on rethinking how we approach macroeconomics A great reintroduction to macroeconomics thru a different lens than the classical macro training. Kling does a fine job appealing to armchair economists while still keeping a certain rigor to the material. Jun 21, Brian added it Shelves: Clear writing from my favorite curmudgeon. Convinced me that a lot of the science underpinning current economic thinking is bunk.

Mar 17, Richard Fulmer rated it it was amazing. As usual, Kling's prose is crystal clear, and his ideas are thoughtful and thought-provoking. In addition to providing an excellent case for a trade and specialization based economics, he delivers a good economics primer and a persuasive case against basing economics on mathematical models.

Jun 11, Jared Tobin rated it liked it. I like Kling and probably agree with him on most things. The central thesis of this book is that macro is bunk, and that micro is not. No disagreement there. He elaborates on this over a mostly-enjoyable ten chapters, and the resulting text makes for a pleasant little read. I didn't really get into the way that Kling approached this thesis though. He writes from a perspective that treats specialization and trade as largely extricable from the core phenomena of scarcity, preference, and comparativ I like Kling and probably agree with him on most things.

He writes from a perspective that treats specialization and trade as largely extricable from the core phenomena of scarcity, preference, and comparative advantage. I take the orthodox microeconomic view that specialization and trade are the logical results of these phenomena; Kling himself sort of seems to accept this early in the introduction, but then asserts that he'll operate on the level of specialization and trade anyway.


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I raised an eyebrow very early on at: The phenomenon of specialization helps explain why we observe markets, firms, property rights, money, and finance. In retrospect I guess that Kling wanted to use specialization as a sort of abstraction barrier to analyze macroeconomic issues, but I didn't think this was clear, or that it worked tremendously well.

If specialization and trade are to be the core units of analysis, then I'm really hoping for "an economist does his best Nick Land impression". But that's not what I got. Federico rated it really liked it Jul 27, Raymond rated it it was amazing Apr 09, Matt rated it really liked it Mar 16, Seamus rated it liked it Dec 29, John M Hawkins rated it really liked it Mar 05, Kirby rated it it was amazing Jan 15, Jonathan Wright rated it really liked it Nov 29, Steven Francisco rated it it was amazing Jul 08, Greg rated it really liked it Jan 02, Jim Gerlach rated it really liked it Aug 14, Their policies have not produced the promised results.

Their interpretations of economic events -- as reported by the media -- are often of-the-mark, and unconvincing. Reviews Review Policy. Published on. Flowing text, Original pages. Best For. Web, Tablet, Phone, eReader.

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Content Protection. Read Aloud. Flag as inappropriate. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders. More related to international trade. See more. Stephen Tokarick. International trade theory has pointed out that factor accumulation could immiserize a country if it is sufficiently biased toward the export sector, or if it is biased toward an importcompeting sector in the presence of tariff protection. This paper analyzes the impact of aid, in the form of an increase in the capital stock used only in the nontraded sector, on real income.

Yano and Nugent discussed this issue, but their analysis turned out to be incorrect. This paper demonstrates that whether aid in the form of an increase in capital specific to the nontraded sector reduces welfare depends on how aid affects the price of the nontraded good and on whether imports and the nontraded good are substitutes or complements in demand. Kwan Choi. This second volume of the Handbook of International Trade focuses on the economic and legal analysis of international laws and institutions as they impact trade.

Central issues to those studying international trade are addressed, including: labor, environmental rights, and preferential trade agreements antitrust policy patent rights trade liberalization foreign direct investment. Capital Flow Deflection. Paolo Giordani. This paper focuses on the coordination problem among borrowing countries imposing controls on capital infl ows.

In a simple model of capital flows and controls, we show that inflow restrictions distort international capital flows to other countries and that, in turn, such capital flow deflection may lead to a policy response. We then test the theory using data on inflow restrictions and gross capital inflows for a large sample of developing countries between and Our estimation yields strong evidence that capital controls deflect capital flows to other borrowing countries with similar economic characteristics.

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Notwithstanding these strong cross-border spillover effects, we do not find evidence of a policy response. Alberto Behar. We present a gravity model that accounts for multilateral resistance, firm heterogeneity and country-selection into trade, while accommodating asymmetries in trade flows.

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A new equation for the proportion of exporting firms takes a gravity form, such that the extensive margin is also affected by multilateral resistance. We develop Taylor approximated multilateral resistance terms with which to capture the comparative static effects of changes in trade costs. For isolated bilateral changes in trade frictions, multilateral resistance effects are small for most countries. However, if all countries reduce their trade frictions, the impact of multilateral resistance is so strong that bilateral trade falls in most cases, despite the larger trade elasticities implied by firm heterogeneity.

As a consequence, the world-wide trade response, though positive, is much lower.

Intro Micro: Adam Smith, Markets, Specialization, and Trade

Yevgeniya Korniyenko. Anecdotal evidence suggests the existence of specific choke points in the global trade network revealed especially after natural disasters e. Using a highly disaggregated international trade database we assess the spillover effects of supply shocks from the import of specific goods.

First, using network analysis tools we develop a methodology for evaluating and ranking the supply fragility of individual traded goods. This measure evaluates the potential negative supply shock spillovers from the import of each good. Similar ebooks. Arnold Kling. In Crisis of Abundance: Rethinking How We Pay for Health Care, economist Arnold Kling argues that the way we finance health care matches neither the needs of patients nor the way medicine is practiced.

The availability of "premium medicine," combined with patients who are insulated from costs, means Americans are not getting maximum value per dollar spent. Using basic economic concepts, Kling demonstrates that a greater reliance on private saving and market innovation would eliminate waste, contain health care costs and improve the quality of care.

Kling proposes gradually shifting responsibility for health care for the elderly away from taxpayers and back to the individual. Tyler Cowen. America has been through the biggest financial crisis since the great Depression, unemployment numbers are frightening, media wages have been flat since the s, and it is common to expect that things will get worse before they get better.