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The Future of Europe: Reform or Decline
     

The Future of Europe: Reform or Decline

5.0 1
by Alberto Alesina, Francesco Giavazzi
 

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A provocative argument that unless Europe takes serious action soon, its economic and political decline is unavoidable, and a clear statement of the steps Europe must take before it's too late.

Overview

A provocative argument that unless Europe takes serious action soon, its economic and political decline is unavoidable, and a clear statement of the steps Europe must take before it's too late.

Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs
Two U.S.-trained economists of Italian provenance take sharp aimat Europe's economic ills. They find Europe in inevitable decline, politically as well as economically -- unless there is strong action soon to correct Europe's course. They are critical of many of the now standard calls for reform, arguing that some of the proposals will be merely palliative and that others, such as the argument that more public funds should be directed toward universities and toward research and development, are positively misguided. The authors do not urge continental Europe to adopt "Anglo-Saxon" values, and they believe that the European welfare system, efficiently managed and financed, can be sustained. But they argue strongly that Europeans should pay more attention to the positive lessons that can be learned from the U.S. economy, particularly with respect to innovation and permitting unsuccessful firms to fail. Europe, in the authors' view, suffers from too little competition and from attitudes, shared by both politicians and the public, that can be successfully exploited by vested interests -- usually those who are better off than the average person -- in order to protect their positions.
From the Publisher
"As the new Congress begins work, it should peruse a recently published book, The Future of Europe: Reform or Decline, by two Italian economists, Harvard's Alberto Alesina and Bocconi University's Francesco Giavazzi. They explain what went wrong in Europe in particular in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain and how Europe can continue as a major economic power." Diana Furchtgott-Roth New York Sun

"This book could have been a diatribe, but is saved from that by the intelligence of the authors' arguments and policy recommendations. A must read for those interested in the European economy." P. K. Kresl Choice

New York Sun - Diana Furchtgott-Roth

As the new Congress begins work, it should peruse a recently published book, The Future of Europe: Reform or Decline, by two Italian economists, Harvard's Alberto Alesina and Bocconi University's Francesco Giavazzi. They explain what went wrong in Europe in particular in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain and how Europe can continue as a major economic power.

Choice

This book could have been a diatribe, but is saved from that by the intelligence of the authors' arguments and policy recommendations. A must read for those interested in the European economy.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262012324
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
09/01/2006
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Charles Tilly

The authors have written an accepible plea for Europeans to reform their economies along American lines. They have converted a great deal of technical thinking and evidence into a lively book that noneconomists can easily digest.

Charles Wyplosz

Like all market-based economies, the transition countries are now subject to financial instability. This timely and important book uncovers the distinctive features of transition that give rise to financial crises in emerging market countries.

From the Publisher
"This landmark volume offers a lucid account of the first decade of economic transition by some key actors and first-hand observers. We follow their hopes, achievements, and disappointments, and come to understand better the immense challenge of transition."—Charles Wyplosz, Professor of Economics, Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva

"Like all market-based economies, the transition countries are now subject to financial instability. This timely and important book uncovers the distinctive features of transition that give rise to financial crises in emerging market countries."—Charles Wyplosz, Professor of Economics, Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva

Niall Ferguson

Few scholars are better qualified to analyze the economic condition of Europe than Alesina and Giavazzi. With admirable clarity, supporting each step of thier argument with some striking empricaly findings, they reveal the seriousness of the plight of the major continental European econmies-- and the urgency of the need for liberalizing reforms.

James N. Rosenau

This unique treatment of important political and economic issues offers interesting data that contrasts trends on two continents. The book's succinct clarity and hard-hitting style suggests that it will be a significant, controversial, and widely cited work.

Meet the Author

Alberto Alesina is Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Political Economics at Harvard University. He is the coauthor (with Enrico Spolaore) of The Size of Nations (MIT Press, 2003).

Francesco Giavazzi is Professor of Economics at Bocconi University and Visiting Professor at MIT. He is the coauthor (with Alberto Giovannini) of Limiting Exchange Rate Flexibility: The European Monetary System (MIT Press, 1989).

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The Future of Europe: Reform or Decline 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Tunguz More than 1 year ago
This book deals with several major policy problems that Europe and Europeans are facing today. The usual suspects include non-competitive research and universities, mishandling of the increasingly multiethnic societies, liberalization of markets, high price of the social state, rigid labor market, to name just a few. There seems to be an increasing amount of literature and critical articles dedicated to these issues, in a stark contrast to the inability of European politicians to get a firm grip on them. Even though this book claims that Europe should not necessarily adopt Anglo-Saxon social and economic model, it is hard to escape this conclusion when reading the actual comparisons with the UK, US and other "Anglo-Saxon" countries. One big policy issue that is not being discussed here deals with the collapse of the European family and its roots in the dismantling of the Judeo-Christian religio-ethical tradition. A good place to start reading more about this is George Weigel's "The Cube And The Cathedral: Europe, America and Politics Without God" Additional criticism of this book concerns its editing. There are numerous spelling and other mistakes, and several graphs and charts are not all that clear. Otherwise, it is a very readable and engaging book.