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Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective
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Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  296 ratings  ·  20 reviews
How did the rich countries really become rich? In this provocative study, Ha-Joon Chang examines the great pressure on developing countries from the developed world to adopt certain 'good policies' and 'good institutions', seen today as necessary for economic development. Adopting a historical approach, Dr Chang finds that the economic evolution of now-developed countries ...more
Paperback, 187 pages
Published July 1st 2002 by Anthem Press
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Development as Freedom by Amartya SenMountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy KidderThe White Man's Burden by William EasterlyPoor Economics by Abhijit V. BanerjeeShake Hands with the Devil by Roméo Dallaire
International Development Book Club
21st out of 77 books — 13 voters
Kicking Away the Ladder by Ha-Joon ChangThe Provocateur by Michael  StephensonCollapse by Jared DiamondThis Time Is Different by Carmen M. ReinhartGlobalization and Its Discontents by Joseph E. Stiglitz
Shock Doctrine
1st out of 7 books — 6 voters

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عز عبده
الكتاب فعلاً رائع
بل إنه كتاب فى الإقتصاد يجعلك تبكى
ما أعلمه أن كتب الرعب أو الرومانسية هى التى تجعل الإنسان يبكى
ولكن هذا الكتاب على الرغم من أنه كتاب فى الإقتصاد
إلا أنه يجعلك ترى الأمم هم أبطال الكتاب
الأمم المتقدمة والأمم المتأخرة
ثم يوضح لك كيف ان الأمة التى تتقدم تمحو كل الطرق التى تقدمت بها
حتى تكون هي فى المقدمة وتظل الأمم المتأخرة فى مكانها
الكتاب له أهمية خاصة أخرى أن مقدمة الكتاب كتبها د. مصطفى الرفاعى وهو وزير سابق للصناعة والتنمية التكنولوجية بمصر
رغم أن الكتاب به الكثير من الإحصائيات
May 22, 2014 Marwa marked it as to-read
كتاب أحزنني .. فهو يوضح كيف أصبحنا نحن الدول الناميه مجرد دميه تحركها الدول المتقدمه .. كم من الحلول المقدمه و التي تخبيء بين ثناياها السم .. فكل من يصل للقمه يركل السلم بعيدا .. فالدول المتقدمه و إدارتها لصندوق النقد الدولي و الليبراليه العالميه لا تسعي أبدا الي النهوض بالدول الناميه بل تريد أن تبقي دائما في ثالوث الفقر و الجهل و البطاله!! :(
Contrary to popular belief many of the now developed countries (NDCs) used activist industrial policies, including tariff protection, to spur their processes of economic development, so argues Ha Joon Chang in this much needed intervention into the debate on free trade as a panacea for the developing world.

By providing a sense of historical perspective and amassing a variety of empirical evidence he shows that the kind of policies currently championed today by dominant interests and institution
Lauren Sheil
Key Quotes -

It is a very common clever device that when anyone has attained the summit of greatness, he kicks away the ladder by which he has climbed up, in order to deprive others of the means of climbing up after him. – Friedrich List; The National System of Political Economy

As has been repeatedly observed over the last few centuries, the common problem faced by all catch-up economies is that the shift to higher-value-added activities, which constitutes the key to the process of economic deve
Byunghwan Son
Are developed economies (along with international financial organizations and some of the investors) actually asking developing ones to do what they have done while they were developing? This is the central question Chang is grappling with in this book. The answer is a clear no. In fact, his argument is easily summarized by the following:

“By demanding from developing countries institutional standards that they themselves had never attained at comparable levels of development, the NDCs [now devel
This was another great book by Ha-Joon Chang. It covers a lot of the same ideas as "Bad Samaritans", though this one came first. There are some great comparative economic history charts in here. Either book is good for disabusing yourself of the idea that any rich country actually got rich by following the advice they give to poor countries (i.e., Neo-Liberal reforms). This is essential reading if you want to pull the rug out of most American libertarian arguments.
Written more for an academic/professional/specialist audience than the general reader, Chang's short book is still accessible and full of information that is vital to our understanding of how the ideology of free trade has been created in order to reward developed nations at the expense of those trying to develop. The United States, Great Britain, Germany—essentially every country that has successfully industrialized—used tariffs, protections of infant industries, control of capital markets and ...more
If Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism is more for general readers, Kicking Away the Ladder is directed towards more professional/academic audience. Highly organized and very clear + concise argument, it provides such a brief but meaningful overview of the history of development, and thus a perfect introduction for economists/policy makers. Ha-Joon Chang is also careful in presenting and interpreting data.

The scope of the book, however, does not allow dee
I read this book in the context of a university project, and I found it to both well-documented and clearly presented. Chang's main argument seems to boil down to the dissonance between the Western claim that free market economics is the recipe for economic growth (the so-called Washington Consensus), and the West's own history of protectionism and government involvement in economic activities. The analogy referenced in the title summarizes this point; free markets might be fine if you're on top ...more
Ben Page
*Random notes I took on the book added long after I read/reviewed it.

Chang puts forth a goodwill argument that would benefit mankind as a whole by saying that allowing non-developed countries to develop and grow would afford its citizens numerous benefits and make the global economy more robust at the same time--although it's sad that a part of her closing discussion has to be framed in terms of ultimate benefits to now-developed countries.

Her ethical and historical arguments are superb, though
Margaret Sankey
The "best practices" required of developing countries--free trade, patent protection, central banks, no child labor, etc. and tied to IMF aid and other projects are in fact practices which the first world did not impose upon itself until relatively late in their own imperial and industrial success. I really don't know to whom this is a huge surprise, and I also can't imagine any first world political body that would have the backing to offer monetary aid WITHOUT imposing things like patent regul ...more
Ahmed El-sherbini
Apr 06, 2014 Ahmed El-sherbini marked it as to-read
i want this book
Daniel Milano
Proponents of free markets regularly omit to mention that in the course of the developmental history of their own country on many instances they did a back and forth routine between protectionism and (seemingly) market openness , changing their positions because of jingoistic and/or self centered considerations. Do as I say,.... Nowadays the 3rd model of development brought forth by the likes of China and Brazil have shaken the very foundations of that ideology.
Ka Ming
Essentially a paper with more editorializing.
Bethany Woodson
Everyone should read this book. It is full of great info, very accessible and puts down a lot of myths regarding the "best" policies for economic development. Plus its only 140 pages, so much you can learn in a very reasonably sized book.
Jun 18, 2009 Judy added it
A quick read on how the world economy works against the already poor nations. I require it as often as I can in my courses on politics in the non-West.

It is a classic.
In college, it really widened my perspective on development and it should be part of development studies curriculum everywhere.
Excellent book putting development into a historical perspective, a necessary and welcome addition to the debate.
when the newspapers preach about the 'free markets', it's all a bunch of hogwash. this book has the evidence.
Great book. Explains the hypocrisy underlying the US's approach to "free trade". Very readable.
Ruben marked it as to-read
Feb 27, 2015
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Ha-Joon Chang teaches economics at Cambridge University. His book 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism was a no.1 bestseller and was called by the Observer 'a witty and timely debunking of some of the biggest myths surrounding the global economy.' He is a popular columnist at the Guardian, and a vocal critic of the failures of our economic system.
More about Ha-Joon Chang...
23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism Economics: The User's Guide Reclaiming Development: An Economic Policy Handbook for Activists and Policymakers Rethinking Development Economics

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