About the Book

The keys to eradicating world poverty, increasing standards of living, and fueling economic growth lie with capitalist economies—yet contrary to conventional wisdom, capitalism is not a "one size fits all" proposition, contend the authors of a new book from Yale University Press, Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity ($30 hardcover). Seizing on the growing interest in economic development worldwide, economists William J. Baumol, Robert E. Litan, and Carl J. Schramm explain that some forms of capitalism are good for growth, while others can actually hamper growth. They examine how countries catching up to America can move faster toward the economic frontier, while laying out the need for the United States itself to stick to and reinforce the recipe for growth that has enabled it to be the leading economic force in the world.

Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism's three illustrious authors identify four distinct types of capitalism in this trailblazing book: state-guided, oligarchic, big firm and entrepreneurial. These four types of capitalism are all present, in a variety of combinations, throughout the world; Baumol, Litan and Schramm conclude that the key to economic development is a unique mix of entrepreneurial capitalism, which has proved to be the most conducive to radical innovation, and big firm capitalism, which is necessary to mass-produce and commercialize those innovations.

The authors apply their conclusions through in-depth studies of a number of economies-India's, China's, Russia's, and Israel's among them-and discuss the broad means that may move these countries toward the ultimate goal of more entrepreneurial, prosperous economic systems. The United States is not exempt from scrutiny in this book: the Baumol, Litan and Schramm also address how America can maintain its position of entrepreneurial leadership given the fact that many other countries are making rapid gains in the areas of our traditional strengths.

Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity offers invaluable insights for anyone interested in global economic growth and in America's economic future.


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  • Named one of the "Top Ten Books That Drive Debate" in 2008 by the National Chamber Foundation!
  • Now in seven languages!