Cover: The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization, from Harvard University PressCover: The Great Convergence in HARDCOVER

The Great Convergence

Information Technology and the New Globalization

Product Details


$29.95 • £26.95 • €27.95

ISBN 9780674660489

Publication Date: 11/14/2016


344 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

2 photos, 70 illus., 9 tables

Belknap Press


Also Available As

Jacket: The Great Convergence

PAPERBACK | $20.00

ISBN 9780674237841


Add to Cart

Educators: Request an Exam Copy (Learn more)

Media Requests:

Related Subjects

An essential book for understanding how modern trade works via global supply chains. An antidote to the protectionist nonsense being peddled by some politicians today.The Economist

[An] excellent book… Baldwin’s work seems likely to become a standard, perhaps indispensable, guide to understanding how globalization has got us here and where it is likely to take us next. There can be few more vital subjects today that will benefit from this sort of clear and comprehensive exposition.—Alan Beattie, Financial Times

Will surprise and illumine.—Paul Collier, The Times Literary Supplement

There is much in this book to ponder.—Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

It’s a very powerful description of the newest phase of globalization.—Larry Summers, Five Books

Sheds a bright light on the nature of trade in today’s era—the ‘second globalization’ since the industrial revolution.—Martin Wolf, Financial Times [11/23/16]

In this brilliant book, Baldwin has succeeded in saying something both new and true about globalization.—Martin Wolf, Financial Times [12/02/16]

In this congenial volume, [Baldwin] adroitly covers 200,000 years of human trading practices, deploying insights from archaeology, anthropology, climate science, economic history, political science, development studies and other disciplines as he goes. He takes us on a journey from the ancient world to the 21st century, and from the global North to the developing South, in order to set the scene for the past 25 years of globalization.—Juliet Webster, Times Higher Education

Offers a valuable summary of how we got to where we are now. It’s a narrative that bears retelling.—Jane Humphries, Times Literary Supplement

Baldwin’s work is fascinating… The Great Convergence is set to become a canonical text within the field.The Bookbag

If the corrosive events of the [presidential election] in America are anything to go by, economist Richard Baldwin is absolutely, stunningly (yet unfortunately) correct. That said, this book does endeavor to change the way we think about globalization—rather than the future of humanity.—David Marx, David Marx Book Reviews

The Great Convergence offers a compelling framework for thinking about how trade is organized and why and how it benefits whom… I can’t imagine a better and more accessible analysis of trade and globalization in the digital era.—Diane Coyle, The Enlightened Economist

The first part of this book offers a breathtaking overview of the four phases of globalization that Baldwin argues have taken place during the past 200,000 years.—G. John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs

In this deft treatise, economist Richard Baldwin argues that we are seeing a third wave [of economic globalization]… The first two waves of globalization were boons for all. The third, Baldwin argues, is working mainly to the advantage of intellectual-property owners in developed countries, and of emerging markets able to access productive global value chains.—Brad DeLong, Nature

Shows how the global production system has moved from trade in goods and services to trade in information, with multinational corporations obsessively trying to prevent intellectual-property leaks to competitors. Baldwin’s analysis has important implications for both the governance of global trade and domestic policymaking.—Erik Berglöf, Project Syndicate

[Baldwin] doesn’t simply deliver an excellent summary of the history of globalization with The Great Convergence. He also describes how it has changed over the last century, and how thanks to the digital revolution we stand on the threshold of a new age in the evolution of the global economy… Picking up Baldwin’s book is like stepping into an economic time machine. How did the west become the dominant economic center of the world in just two centuries, generating 70 percent of global economic output? Why did this trend start to change around 1990? And why are supply chains, not national borders, the deciding factors for globalization today? Only after these questions are answered can Donald Trump’s protectionist counterrevolution be unmasked as the illusion it is. Baldwin delivers these answers, and argues them convincingly.—Torsten Riecke, Handelsblatt Global

The Great Convergence is an important text, because it argues for a change in the way we think about and deal with globalization. Baldwin disaggregates the monolithic, undifferentiated approach that considers globalization as a single phenomenon. Rather, the author argues that there are three major strands of globalization, and that these strands have been predominant during successive historical periods. First, globalization consisted of the movement of goods, then the movement of ideas/information, and, Baldwin posits, in the future the movement and enhanced functionality of people. Viewing globalization through this lens, supported by clear and lucid historical analysis, Baldwin’s view will cause the reader to think differently about trade agreement, government policy, the future of work, and other economic and political issues. This spirited thesis is presented with clarity in lucid and thoughtful prose that is accessible to all readers.—S. A. Schulman, Choice

In this meaty treatise, Baldwin argues that we’re in the process of a major shift in world economics and economic policy needs to be adjusted accordingly… Baldwin has put together an intriguing and compelling case.Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The Great Convergence is important and accessible in equal measure, with a balance between examples presented as stories and analytics set out with clarity and verve.—Paul Collier, University of Oxford

Many books deal with various features of globalization. Only Baldwin’s deals with the logic of globalization. Globalization happens when the movement of goods, knowledge, and people is technologically possible and cheap enough to encompass the entire world. The first globalization was built on the movement of goods, the one we live today on the movement of knowledge and information, the next one will be built on the movement of people. It is a must-read for those who want to learn about the past and to peer into the future.—Branko Milanovic, City University of New York

This important book should change the way we think about globalization. There have been two big globalization booms over the past two centuries. The first caused divergence between rich and poor nations while the second, since the 1970s, has caused convergence. With elegance, economist Richard Baldwin tells us why.—Jeffrey G. Williamson, Harvard University

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: Iron and Blood: A Military History of the German-Speaking Peoples since 1500, by Peter Wilson, from Harvard University Press

A Lesson in German Military History with Peter Wilson

In his landmark book Iron and Blood: A Military History of the German-Speaking Peoples since 1500, acclaimed historian Peter H. Wilson offers a masterful reappraisal of German militarism and warfighting over the last five centuries, leading to the rise of Prussia and the world wars. Below, Wilson answers our questions about this complex history,