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Digital Subscriptions > Boston Review > Economics After Neoliberalism (Summer 2019) > WHAT ABOUT DEVELOPING COUNTRIES?


AFTER NEARLY FOUR YEARS of working as chief economic adviser to the government of India, I find the Economics for Inclusive Prosperity (EfIP) initiative frustratingly peripheral to the concerns of developing countries, especially the poorer among them. Full disclosure: Dani Rodrik is a friend and long-time collaborator on work that challenges aspects of EfIP’s paradigm.

To begin with, the EfIP critique responds to problems in advanced economies. It is true that in the rich world, the neoliberal model has failed to deliver much of anything besides enormous returns to the rich and decent GDP growth (and even the latter has not always been a given). Productivity growth has slowed to a crawl, median incomes have stagnated, mobility has declined, and inequality has increased sharply. These problems have in turn bred the political pathologies of democratic authoritarianism and illiberal populism.

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Economics After Neoliberalism offers a powerful case for a new brand of economics—one focused on power and inequality and aimed at a more inclusive society. Three prominent economists—Suresh Naidu, Dani Rodrik, and Gabriel Zucman—lead off with a vision “for economic policy that stands as a genuine alternative to market fundamentalism.” Expanding on “the state of creative ferment” they describe, Boston Review has commissioned responses to their essay from economists, philosophers, political scientists, and policymakers across the political spectrum as well as new essays that challenge the current shape of markets and suggest more democratic alternatives. Lenore Palladino explores the misguided logic of shareholder primacy and points to more equitable approaches to corporate governance—such as employee ownership funds. Amy Kapczynski examines how the courts have developed a new, anti-democratic First Amendment that protects corporate speech at the expense of regulation designed to protect public health and safety. And Robert Manduca explores the importance of public discussion about economics by revisiting Chester Bowles's remarkable book, Tomorrow Without Fear, which explained Keynesian ideas to the public after World War II.