Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Next Convergence: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World” as Want to Read:
The Next Convergence: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  207 Ratings  ·  21 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 a
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 10th 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Next Convergence, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Next Convergence

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 27, 2011 Shawn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 22, 2011 Lisa Sansone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend this book.
Jan 25, 2012 Will rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Timothy Chklovski
Mar 05, 2015 Timothy Chklovski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book reads as an extended conversation with the author. Since a lot of his work has been in microeconomics, he brings a beep appreciation of the micro structure and dynamics of economies to the macro level.

The discussion is clear and coherent, without "dumbing down" the topics or the analysis -- although the analysis does stay fairly high-level.

A key observation in the book is that some emerging economies are able to enter periods of rapid growth. Against a backdrop of 2-2.5% growth sustaine
Sep 08, 2011 Marks54 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 22, 2011 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, business
“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
Aug 17, 2011 Ray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 13, 2012 Steven rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 04, 2016 ferhat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016_read
A good high level look into growth in the post-crisis world in terms of climate, energy, technology and (imbalanced) distribution in between developing and developed economies. I have learnt a good deal from it; i.e adding-up problem, structural change (I would call it disturbance), necessity of flexible rules-based conventions, discrepancy between domestic and global goals, etc.

After some time, it became a bit too repetitive but it could be a nice complement of a package of books that would hel
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
Jan 02, 2012 Harold rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics
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
Jun 06, 2011 Richard Bravman rated it really liked it
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
Josh Gatlin
Jul 23, 2013 Josh Gatlin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 07, 2012 Patrdr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics
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.

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.
Aug 02, 2011 Luaba rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economy
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
Oct 30, 2011 Aaron Terrazas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 02, 2011 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Colin rated it liked it
Oct 07, 2012
Conor Mullally
Conor Mullally rated it it was amazing
Mar 04, 2016
Himanshu rated it it was amazing
Jun 26, 2015
Ruczak Jain
Ruczak Jain rated it really liked it
Feb 13, 2013
Mohamed rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2017
John rated it really liked it
Jan 09, 2015
Vvssb Shankar
Vvssb Shankar rated it it was amazing
Jan 29, 2013
Huiling rated it liked it
Jun 05, 2013
Khem Yuos panha
Khem Yuos panha rated it it was ok
Jan 26, 2013
Paweł Rusin
Paweł Rusin rated it liked it
Jan 22, 2017
Ivana rated it it was amazing
Apr 05, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
developed versus under-developed 1 3 Apr 04, 2012 09:26AM  
  • The Economics of Enough: How to Run the Economy as If the Future Matters
  • Paper Promises: Debt, Money, and the New World Order
  • Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar and the Future of the International Monetary System
  • The Benefit and The Burden: Tax Reform-Why We Need It and What It Will Take
  • Red Capitalism: The Fragile Financial Foundation of China's Extraordinary Rise
  • Uncommon Sense: Economic Insights, from Marriage to Terrorism
  • The Shifts and the Shocks: How the Financial Crisis Has Changed Our Future
  • Red Ink: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget
  • The Growth Map: Economic Opportunity in the Brics and Beyond
  • Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff
  • Understanding the Process of Economic Change
  • The New Financial Order: Risk in the 21st Century
  • High Financier: The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg
  • The Great Inflation and Its Aftermath: The Past and Future of American Affluence
  • Principles of Economics
  • The Power Surge: Energy, Opportunity, and the Battle for America’s Future
  • A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World
  • The Servant Economy: Where America's Elite is Sending the Middle Class
Librarian Note: There is more than one author on goodreads by this name.
More about Michael Spence...

Share This Book

“invest simultaneously in the agricultural sector, in education, in productivity-enhancing technology and its dissemination, and in infrastructure that enables connectivity to the rest of the economy.” 1 likes
More quotes…