Reality and Rhetoric is the culmination of P. T. Bauer’s observations and reflections on Third World economies over a period of thirty years. He critically examines the central issues of market versus centrally planned economies, industrial development, official direct and multinational resource transfers to the Third World, immigration policy in the Third World, and economic methodology. In addition, he has written a fascinating account of recent papal doctrine on income inequality and redistribution in the Third World. The major themes that emerge are the importance of non-economic variables, particularly people’s aptitudes and mores, to economic growth; the unfortunate results of some current methods of economics; the subtle but important effects of the exchange economy on development; and the politicization of economic life in the Third World.
As in Bauer’s previous writings, this book is marked by elegant prose, apt examples, a broad economic-historical perspective, and the masterful use of informal reasoning.
Peter Bauer is the world’s foremost authority on economic development… In Reality and Rhetoric he destroys many popular myths about economic development and in the process convincingly demonstrates that static societies result wherever government preempts human action by monopolizing economic life… Drawing on rich historical knowledge and personal experience of West Africa and Asia, the author chronicles examples of rapid economic advance prior to the advent of marketing boards and other government intrusions… His scholarship is devastating, and it will leave sensitive readers with a sense of outrage at development economists whose ignorant meddling has devastated poor and struggling people.
A sophisticated satellite view of the worlds of economics and politics that will not be easy to refute. The author’s faith in the capacity of individuals, linked together by prices in markets and by ballots in voting booths, to promote well-being deserves careful attention and debate.
Bauer has observed the less developed areas carefully over many years, and most of his policy conclusions are bolstered by a vast array of pertinent facts. His writings, in addition, are a valuable antidote to a number of ideas that, though inspired by noble intentions, are poisoning the prospects of many of the world’s poorest people.
One of the most distinguished development economists in the world, and undoubtedly the foremost conservative one.
As an economist of keen intellect and solid experience, Peter Bauer is more impressed with what works than with what ideologues say ought to work… For the sake of the much maligned American political economy as well as for the sake of the ever-present poor, this book deserves to be widely and wisely read.
- 192 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
From this author
Sorry, there was an error adding the item to your shopping bag.
Sorry, your session has expired. Please refresh your browser's tab.