The Next Convergence: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World
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The Next Convergence: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  130 ratings  ·  19 reviews
A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book for 2011 With the British Industrial Revolution, part of the world’s population started to experience extraordinary economic growth—leading to enormous gaps in wealth and living standards between the industrialized West and the rest of the world. This pattern of divergence reversed after World War II, and now we are midway through...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 10th 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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This review is being written in the time of impending global economic collapse. Since 2008, an entire generation of news junkies have become armchair economists. I won't be as arrogant as to say that I saw the financial crisis coming with my minor in economics, but the signs were there. An article in Fortune magazine in 2005 theorized about a downward spiral if the housing market collapsed. But the year is 2011. The Eurozone is on the verge of breakup. The US government is on the verge of shutdo...more
Lisa Sansone
I highly recommend this book.
Reserving the edit-option, my tentative evaluation that this book is in the long line of contemporary political economy (the line of which Galbraith's The Affluent Society was a noteworthy failed success) that cries for intelligent study. Content, as far as I have yet gone, is unusually cogent despite flights of prolix wandering--an illustration early in the book is a sentence 64 (yes, it was such meandering that after muttering "what-in-hell did he say" I actually counted the words in disbelief...more
“This book is about the 100-plus years that began in 1945 and will run to the middle of the twenty-first century. Since we are slightly over half-way along, we can think of it as a midterm report.”

When I first ran across this book, I was absolutely intrigued. There is hardly an American who does not realize that the third world (especially China and India) are rapidly catching up with the economic strength of the western world. Given the current economic climate, how is this going to affect us...more
This is a good book about economic growth in the current lousy global economic environment. The premise is that world is changing from the one following the industrial revolution in the West, in which the industrialized nations grew more rapidly than the rest of the world, creating a gap in wealth, standard of living, life prospects, health, etc. between the industrialized nations and the rest of the world. What is the change? Well it is that since about 1945, a group of rapidly industrializing...more
It had 5 stars right up to the end...where it lost one.

As a previous update while I was reading it said, it's a brilliant book, and should be considered a must-read for anyone who wants or is going to claim they know what's happening in developing markets, China, India, Africa, currency exchange rates, the EU, etc. You might find yourself looking at the USA national debt differently, as well as the policies and plans (real or perceived) of China in regards to their economy, the so-called artific...more
The book reads as a post-retirement sendoff with numerous disconnected parts. I would agree Michael Spence, the author, is intelligent and bipartisan; however, he fails to answer the essential question lurking in the background: Why should Americans subsidize the growth and development in China and the rest of the developing world at the cost of high joblessness and underemployment in the States in the name of openness and free trade? Also: Will the G20, or some other global government body, hel...more
This book started as an excellent summary and explanation of economic growth and development in the world today, but as progressed it got away from me. I think that is probably my fault, rather than the books'. I read it in Hawaii over Xmas vacation and it certainly isn't a beach read. The deeper in I got, the deeper it got, and the shallower I got. Nonetheless, even with my somewhat limited (and sunburned) vision, there was plenty here to learn from, and to think about. I just think I missed mo...more
Richard Bravman
A comprehensive (to a fault) and thoughtful analysis of the macroeconomic factors shaping the development trajectory of the global economy and all those who participate in it. The author makes a compelling argument for the need for developed countries to both accept a rapidly narrowing gap between their wealth and influence and that of the emerging powers, and to adopt new policies, in both public and private sectors, aimed at creating a sustainable foundation for long term growth. A very worthw...more
Craig Werner
Spence is optimistic about the future of the global economy, predicting a narrowing of the gap between wealthy and developing nations.

He didn't convince me. The primary reason is that his extrapolations are based on the premise of continued growth, which is almost impossible to envision without cataclysmic environmental consequences. Spence gives lip service to the issue, but never really engages it, falling back on expectations of greater cooperation and technological development.

I hope he's ri...more
Josh Gatlin
Extremely interesting book that puts the effect the information age is and will increasingly have on the rest of the world's ability to compete and catch up with more advanced countries. Has great insight into the positives of globalization going forward, the disappearance of many competitive advantages, and what countries have to do to continue collective success going forward.
Concerns the history of growth and development in the modern world, how growth can be sustainable, and what is to be done in the face of the modern economic crisis and collapse.

Primarily discusses emerging economies, and how their variant policies and demographics influence their growth. Although insights here are extremely useful for more developed economies.
This is a well argued analysis of the big trends in the global economy. It offers valuable guidance for economic policy in both the 'advanced' and emerging world. It does not gloss over the difficulties but is at its core optimistic that we can experiment our way to acceptable and durable solutions.

It's a smart sensible tour d'horizon of the global economy from one of the best and unbias economist in the world. A great read for anyone interested in the current global economy especially those who think that the US can afford to default smh.
Aaron Terrazas
Excellent overview of the global economy and the major historical trends/current issues. However, if you regularly follow the economic news (e.g., The Economist), and IMF/World Bank publications, there is really nothing new here.
This was a decent read--especially for someone interested in globalization and macroeconomic issues. At times, the book was too technical and slow. With that said, it was still worth the read.
nice read .... even a person without having a economics background, can easily understand ...
Truong Thanh Chung
A sympathetic and insightful toward the developing countries. Cannot recommend this book more.
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developed versus under-developed 1 3 Apr 04, 2012 09:26AM  
Librarian Note: There is more than one author on goodreads by this name.
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