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Economic Problems of the 1990s: Europe, the Developing Countries and the United States.

This book contains a selected set of essays from an international workshop organized by the Journal of Post Keynesian Economics and the College of Business Administration of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The subject of the workshop was "The Economic Problems of the 1990s" and out of the 30 or more papers from the workshop, 11 are published here. These 11 papers are grouped into three areas: (1) economic development and international finance, (2) Europe and Eastern Europe, and (3) the United States. Being a careful selection from a larger group, all of the papers are works of quality and some of them are of real significance. The volume belongs in any good university library and several of the papers would make excellent reading assignments for advanced undergrad or grad students.

The first part of the collection--development and finance--contains five essays. In them, A. P. Thirlwall provides an excellent survey of the terms of trade literature and a discussion and the problems involved in debt and development. William Darity, Jr. takes international banks to task in a short but provocative piece on "loan pushing" to what can only be called third-world kleptocracies. Luiz Carlos Bresser Pereira and Yoshiaki Yakano describe the recent attempts at price level stabilization in Brazil. Fernando J. Cardim de Carvalho works out a very promising post Keynesian theory of inflation and hyperinflation. And, Paul Davidson rounds out the first part of the collection with a proposal for a post Keynesian international payments system.

The second part of the volume--on Europe and Eastern Europe--contains three chapters. In the first, Stephen F. Frowen describes the German view of a single European market and single European monetary system. J. A. Kregel analyzes the monetary unification of East and West Germany from the monetarist and Post Keynesian perspectives. Then Irma Adelman, who still seems to be fighting the cold war, explains why massive Western aid should not be supplied to Eastern Europe.

The third part of the volume contains three chapters and is on the United States. Robert A. Blecker, in one of the best treatments of the subject to come out in many years, explains the relations between saving rates, "twin deficits," and economic growth. He shows that most of the accepted theories of saving, government finance, and international trade are hopelessly confused about what is caused and what is effect. John D. Donahue provides some very sound insights into the costs and benefits of privatization. And, in the last-chapter, Ronald C. Moe continues analyzing the privatization theme, particularly in the context of U.S. anti-government ideology.

The book contains both a subject and name index and is another fine product of a new and innovative publisher, Edward Elgar. Would that he found his way clear to charge less for his books!
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Author:Dugger, William M.
Publication:Southern Economic Journal
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Oct 1, 1992
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