What should I ask Dani Rodrik?

The next Conversations with Tyler comes next Thursday, six days from now, and it is with Dani Rodrik.  Of course you should show up, or watch the LiveStream (see the link).  But in the meantime, what should I ask him?

Again, here is the previous session with Luigi Zingales.

Comments

Anything regarding the future of secular Turkey.

In particular, ask him about the army. While in other dysfunctional countries armies tend toward coups and authoritarianism, in Turkey the army was a guarantor of democracy and Kemalism against Islamism. How did this happen in the first place, and what happens now that the army is out of the way?

"the army was a guarantor of democracy and Kemalism against Islamism"

I don't think that claim about democracy is quite right (the claim about Kemalism seems obviously right to me under certain definitions of Kemalism). The army coups were done in part to stem violence (as in the 70s/80s) so in the sense that civil strife destroys democracy these were democracy preserving but also to depose democratically elected leaders with whom the army didn't agree (as in the 60s and I would argue partially in the 80s). The latter case is anti-democratic at its core. While I'm no fan of the excesses of the AKP of the last 5 years, a center right religious party in Turkey is obvious preference of the majority of its citizens (I say this from my review of the literature and having recently spent a year living at a Turkish university in the interior). The army was/is a secular and statist institution in an islamic-conservative country. If you believe in democracy then, much the way the U.S. was a "christian" democracy for much of its history, why can't Turkey be an Islamic democracy?

Of course that being said, Erodgan's de-fanging of the army has destroyed the traditional balance of power that prevented a Putin-esque figure from gaining too much power. In that sense the army was a "democratic" force but I think it would be wrong to think of the army as being primarily a pro-democracy institution.

U.S wasn't a "christian" democracy.

And even if you do think so, it was something that was a long time ago. Not in modern time. Turkey on the other hand, is moving in direction of a Islamic "democracy". See the difference?
It is like; In the US women didn't always have the right to vote, why is it then a problem that women cant vote in XXX.

You should try to hold all kinds of people up to the same standard, otherwise its just r.......
At least you could tell us, what you would say about the US turning into a christian democracy.

BTW: "christian" and "islamic" is not the same. Something about religion, yes. But not the same.

To the extent that the U.S. had laws and policies informed by a christian morality (laws against sodomy, laws against abortion, etc.) it was, in my read, a "christian" democracy. These laws were not a "long time ago" but rather fairly recent. I might also add that this progress "away" from a "christian" democracy, is not a consistent process. To be sure over time the U.S. is getting less religious but comparing the ruling political coalition of the 70s vs. 80s shows a marked increase in the influence of evangelical Christianity on national level politics. That Turkey is allowing the wife of the mayor of Istanbul to wear a headscarf or that Turkish politicians are now more free to profess their faith in public doesn't threaten democracy in the same way that U.S. politicians invocations of God as the inspiration for their work threatens U.S. democracy.

That being said, I think you might be right that Turkey is getting less democratic and religious to a bad degree, but the case needs to be better articulated than "the military good, islamic leaning politicians bad." In my mind, some islamic policies are a small price to pay for more democracy. I'm not saying that's the price they've paid over the last 5 years but rather that this tradeoff isn't offensive to me or worth banning through military coup the way it seems to you.

As for what I would say about the U.S. becoming more christian inspired, I would be conflicted. My preferences do not align very well with a christian value structure and I think it's harmful in many ways. But I would hope to change the minds of those who chose those laws as opposed to saying that they are fundamentally undemocratic a priori.

What's more harmful, a democracy with religious laws chosen by the vast majority of the populace or a country where the military overturns whatever laws it doesn't like?

I think the answer is "it depends on the laws and the military." I generally think that before Erdogan made his power grab, say up until the financial crisis or 2010 or so, Turkey was better for not having had a military coup than it would have been had they coup'ed Erdogan for being religiously conservative.

Well, "democratically elected" doesn't mean democratic. Loads of popular leaders have weakened or destroyed the democracies that elected them, so I don't see a conflict there.

Sure but it's not like the military was democratic in its imposition of martial law or deposition of an elected government even if those elected governments can be/were anti-democratic.

Anti-democratic government =/= military coup is force for democracy

I would be broadly interested in his take on Europe and the on going sovereign debt crissi. Rodrick wrote an influential piece on the political trilemma nearly 18i years ago concerning international economic governance it seems to me that piece is remarkably astute enlighten the current politics of the euro zone

+1

Given that the EU is now caught in the midst of the political trilemma, what paths does he see forward? What would he advise?

What external interventions seem to have the best mid-term & long-term benefits above their costs?

Foreign private investment? Gov't investment? Foreign aid? More education? More job training? More/ better policing, judges, bureaucrats, banks, teachers, doctors?

Does the general answer vary widely over different cultures?

China. Has China lost an important round or the entire battle? What is the most likely scenario - a slow return to 5%pa growth which lasts at least another decade? With that is Convergence pretty much halted for the foreseeable future? With this wind in its sails will western academia (aka media) now manage to tarnish the idea of State-assisted capitalist development and send it to cold storage.In East Asia this idea has obviously delivered over decades.......The Chinese have goofed up earlier on the stock market in 2007 and retained their image of competency, so why should this goof-up count for more? Eventually will this contest end up bringing both economies to their knees before one goes bely up? Figures might not tell the whole story as we saw in 2008GFC. Noah Smith in his latest disputes the "it's curtains for the Emerging Markets" line to say: it is only over for China. It is time for growth to shift from China to other Emerging Markets (India). Right? Will China astonish us again by pulling off this difficult transition to a consumption-led economy, chalking up 5%pa to ensure population stability. Which keeps China in the race and only delays their eventual rise to the top. Note - For economists per capita is what matters. But for political scientists it is the GDP which decides national power> Keeping that in miind are we on track for a China dominated world by 2030? Shouldnt the Economic Pivot to Asia have taken place latest by 2000?

Assuming the worst case scenario for China - that it can not be as inventive as the West. But going by current strengths it can be a fast and low-cost innovator which is good at commercialization of products. It bring discoveries/ inventions quickly and cheaply to the market. That is it is like Japan but much bigger in scale. Based purely on this manufacturing-commercial strength is there a potential for moderate but continued long-term growth by China? I say this because despite all the heat and noise about Outsourcing, the United States still imports a very small part of its GDP and there is room for much more. Does China's weakness in Global Finance preclude its further rise? Basically (in current context) should a battle for global economic domination must involve a battle for Reserve Currency and all efforts are bound to fail if this weakness is not addressed? OR can this battle be won purely based on trade surpluses and a subsequent shift to Reserve Currency will only be a natural corollary / follow through?

China has been at the receiving end of the Trilemma since it raised yuan and lifted capital controls (costlier exports and money outflows)۔ Can China's current (lame?) efforts at Internationalisation of the Yuan be seen as an effort to erode dollar domination and clear the way for a more equal economic contest between the two? If China now brings back capital controls and goes back to an export growth (slow) and consumption-shift (slow growth) model for a 7-10 year stretch. After this period, can a more powerful China be able to enact a similar challenge to the dollar but more successfully this time.

Premature Industrialization.
Is Convegence (if it takes place!) multi-speed? Does Income Convergence which is slow and painful take place before the much slower Convergence of Industrialization?
Premature Industrialization – Is the IPR regime and stricter IPR implementation a more fundamental explanation for this than Globalization as you say? That latecomers are under-equipped to get into middle-tech and high-tech exports. And this regime sort of contains them into a low-tech space. Low-tech room is crowded and nobody makes much of a profit there and so they stay stuck in it. The available space of (Open Source) Low-Tech technology is the limit to what the latecomers can hope for. And they achieve this quick and then face resistance in further progress in manufacturing; in desperation the economy changes course towards services for growth. As a result the manufacturing percentage declines and so this seems like peak manufacturing. But I am sure you will agree it is only a local maxima. Over the decades a tiny few among them they will claw their way into middle-tech and higher. And then their manufacturing percentage should then climb and converge with the lower post-peak Western manufacturing percentages? Ofcourse never reaching the high peak manufacturing rates of the western economies. But then, not needing to as well. So no need for a dirge or a requiem…We can see that Japan Korea and Taiwan are the lucky few who sneaked in before stricter IPR rules came into place. And even China has managed to reach where it has – a sort of middle ground – through some muscular though disputable reverse engineering. So can one say that IPR is an even greater western innovation than one is led to believe, prima facie?

Must Ask -> African De-industrialization! I don't think a service sector growth is enough to make African Countries become rich.

Ask him about Industry policy, picking winners and government failure. Are there good reasons to believe that highly corrupt governments might be good at picking winners?

Seconded. Ask if there are any general rules we can apply to understand when it will work will, or is it just, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't?

Now that Latin America is something close to 'deindustrialized', where should the major emphasis on policy be going forward? Is manufacturing a lost cause or is comparative advantage still achievable?

Mexico's comparative advantage became much stronger in manufacturing after NAFTA, but that didn't lead into any domestic manufacturing revival. In fact, it led to manufacturing job losses, while the manufacturing percentage of exports skyrocketed.

Yeh, manufacturing is a lost cause. Mexico and Belarus have to start deindustrializing soon to continue growth.

Oh to add on the end: Since it looks like the commodity boom is over in Latin America, for now, is this an opportunity for a fresh start in manufacturing?

How long can Bangladesh sustain their RMG sector dominance?

What about the economic project of Jeremy Corbyn?

Does he agree with predictions that there will be a small set of fragile/failed/weak states that remain so for generations after the rest of the world has surpassed the problem of absolute poverty? And, if so, what is to be done?

What does he think about effective altruism, and in particular 'earning-to-give'?

Are you thrilled with Donald Trump's anti-free trade agenda? Why or why not? Is the Pope wrong to endorse the end of US trade sanctions on Cuba? Won't globalization hinder Cuban economic growth? Cuba has out performed Mexico on the UN Human Development Index since NAFTA was enacted. Should we repeal NAFTA? Which countries should nationalize industries?

In their dialogue, Cowen and Thiel agreed that globalization would not be the catalyst for a return to a higher rate of economic growth, but they weren't clear (or it wasn't clear to me) as to why. Rodrik is a globalization skeptic (because there are as many or more losers than winners, resulting in social unrest). I'd like to know if Cowen's and Rodrik's skepticism about globalization overlap. I'd also like to know if Rodrik is familiar with the recent paper by Richard Rogerson in which he paints a very pessimistic picture about economic development, as countries first move away from agriculture to manufacturing and then away from manufacturing to services, the service sector becoming increasingly dominated by high-skill-intensive industries like education and health care and financial services, which naturally brings about the need for more high-skilled workers. http://wws.princeton.edu/news-and-events/news/item/inequality-grows-economies-develop-regardless-technology. This results in an ever increasing level of inequality: as the demand for highly skilled services increases, those at the top (i.e., those providing the highly skilled services) realize an ever increasing share of total income as more and more of total income goes to the highly skilled. Paradoxically, the left's remedy for rising inequality is to provide financial assistance to the unskilled for them to become part of the highly skilled. I say paradoxically, because adding to the class of the highly skilled will increase inequality not reduce it (according to Rogerson).

Maybe you and Rogerson should focus on eliminating poor people instead of eliminating rich people.

As someone who works in the field of African economic policy, the diagnosis of premature deindustrialization or never industrializing is one of my most persistent concerns. The continent's demographics are challenging - where will millions of new entrants into the labor force find jobs. The commodity cycle may have played out for the time-being, making the question even more critical.

Seconded!

Thomas Piketty thinks they will find jobs in Europe.

Apparently Europe dosn't understand this yet. Actually it is a gift for Europe. Millions of africans. What could go wrong.

+1 I am also very interested in this question. As a follow up, I'd also be interested in how he thinks the trend towards further automation in manufacturing will affect developing economies. Are developed economies essentially pulling up the ladder of development behind them by further automating manufacturing?

What would a good industrial policy look like for developing economies going forward? Maybe he could choose a few countries like Kenya or Nigeria and talk about a promising strategy rather than make a blanket statement. Or should we start talking about open borders and/or a universal basic income instead?

Rodrik was the Albert Hirschman professor at IAS and before that he received an Albert Hirschman prize. Both Hirschman and Rodrik are economists who look at the same facts as everyone else, but they see what nobody else has seen. How far can one go into the hererodoxy before those in the mainstream stop paying attention to you, or taking you seriously? Which factors might attenuate the mainstream's tendency to ignore outsiders and thus allow for more diversity of thought within the profession?

I second that question

Why global TFP has stalled, and what to do about it.

Particulary on two topics : Premature Deindustrialization and the political economy of liberal democracy

What does he see as the pros and cons of open borders?

Will TPP be a net global benefit if passed?

Rodrik was quoted in a 2007 New York Times report as saying that, while he follows the methods of modern economics, he rejects the “faith” [his word] – that says, among other things, that free trade is always good. And, of course, Rodrik is known for his ‘heterodox’ refusal to join in mainstream economists’ embrace of free trade.

So, ask Rodrik if economists who embrace free trade within a country are guilty of faith-based policy recommendations in the same way that he thinks economists who embrace free trade between countries are guilty of faith-based policy recommendations? If he answers no, ask him to summarize the relevant differences that separate intranational from international trade, and press him explain why these differences are real or strong enough to shift the burden of persuasion away from those who oppose a general policy of free trade and onto supporters of free trade.

Kind of a gotcha question, but an important one that I've never really seen answered. Why is inter-state free trade not presumed to be good while intra-state free trade is? It is true that there are differences between the two, but what are the difference that make the difference in the desirability of free trade?

Unfortunately, kind of obvious. Boils down to distributional effects and compensation. In some way the within-country gains from trade can be shared with fewer transaction costs. But international transfers are much harder. All this is magnified when you view the gains as being dynamic and therefore even more difficult to quantify with any accuracy.

In a 2010 JEP article entitled "Diagnostics before Prescription" Rodrik outlines a process for identifying the "binding constraints" that are the unique context dependent impediments to growth. My question then is what is his opinion on Futarchy and using prediction markets as a means of identifying these constraints and guiding development policy.

Does every country or region have a path to getting as rich as, say, the US or France?

Which countries have modernized, moved from low-income to high-income, by pursuing orthodox liberal economic policies?

Is there a broader lesson from the experience of countries that have largely "caught up," such as say Korea, or are particular situations too specific and contingent?

we had great divergence in xix and xx centuries, but since approx 1995 developing countries grow faster, than developed

it looks that this fact deserves some academic attention, because there were some general reasons, among them - more free trade, arrival of Internet and cellular networks etc which allowed that. There are obvious things to be solved - such as problems with energy in India or Pakistan which being solved would further accelerate development.

but judging on reading development literature - the topic looks like not very important for researches.

why no one puts more attention on global helpful mechanisms and works on enabling them to work better?

Ask him if there was a world like ours exact with multiple times more countries, if there would be any statistically significant lessons for development from empirical country-level research.

Read this: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/economists-versus-economics-by-dani-rodrik-2015-09

Ask him whether the current migration crisis in Europe is an example or counter-example of the argument he made in "Has Globalization Gone Too Far"?

Ask him whether the ideology supporting the EU and related international organizations have weakened nationalist feelings among European elites so much that European leaders will cheerfully sacrifice the interests of their own constituents to be seen by others (and see themselves) as "citizens of the world."

Ask him whether he sees any parallels between the Gothic and Visigothic "invasions" of the Roman Empire, and the current emigration crisis. In other words, near the end of the Fourth Century the Goths, fleeing attacks on their home areas by Huns, asked and were granted "asylum" in the Balkan provinces of the Roman Empire. Less than twenty years later they showed their gratitude by sacking Rome and initiating the series of events which produced the "dark ages" in Western Europe. In the beginning, the Goths were weak and sought the protection of Rome. In the end, they found that the "Romans" lacked a community of interest which would give the "Romans" a reason to fight for each other. Twenty years from now, will anybody fight for the European idea?

I know, should be "immigration" not "emigration".

Why does everyone care about the stagnation of Japan, but not of Mexico? And why's every part of British North America richer than the U.K., but every part of Spanish America poorer than Spain?

"How can models theoretically isolate effects using assumptions if there is no theoretical framework for coming up with those assumptions?"

Such models seem to be thought experiments in alternate universes to me.

http://informationtransfereconomics.blogspot.com/2015/09/whats-wrong-with-dani-rodriks-view-of.html

Of Rodrik's work that I've read, he seems to be a globalization skeptic. He's offered some excellent rebuttals to economists promoting a causal link from trade (or trade liberalization) to economic growth and as a result, he's pushed the pro-globalization crowd to adopt better empirical methodologies. In fact, some of the new research (post Rodrik and Rodriguez critique) on trade liberalization has persuasively purported to find that trade liberalization in fact does increase economic growth.

For example, economist Alan M. Taylor and his co-author Antoni Estevadeordal published a paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research. Using the GATT Uruguay round as a natural policy experiment, they compared the trends in economic growth of countries which undertook trade reforms (liberalizers) before and after the reforms and compared them to the trends in economic growth of countries which did not undertake reform (non-liberalizers), which they used as a control group. Their paper found that countries which greatly reduced import tariffs on capital and intermediate goods experienced rather meaningful growth accelerations whereas the control group experienced economic stagnation.

The authors state that post trade reform, "Liberalizers accelerated, whilst nonliberalizers stagnated. After 15 years, the difference between the two is about 15%–20%, implying a differential acceleration of about 1% per person [per year] in favor of the liberalizers." In the paper, they also stated that they believed their methodology surmounted the bar set by Rodrik and Rodriguez in regard to the quality of empirical research on trade liberalization.

I was wondering if Rodrik had any thoughts on this and is open to accepting the conclusion that trade liberalization may actually be something worth pursuing.

NBER paper: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14264.pdf (see figure 6 to see growth trends of liberalizers and non-liberalizers)

Will IT advance payments and banking in ways that reduce the difficulty/importance of good governance?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGM5TvAUF00

"Disruption in finance" talks about the pace of adoption of smartphones, and the security/economy of smartphone software vs atms, brick n mortar banks

Should economists recast their work away from generalized abstractions and towards the enormous, messy entanglement of fossil fuel exploitation with growth as we know it and the potential destruction of civilization's infrastructure as we fear it?

Looking backwards, the modern discipline of economics has grown up with the explosive, coal-and-oil-fueled growth of industrialized civilization, but it aspires more to generating abstract principles than to explaining the contingent facts of our material wealth. The very prominence of the word "Principles" in texts by our esteemed hosts, Mankiw, and others suggests that, for example, we weight the (proven beneficient) growth of world trade much more heavily as a cause of 19th C growth than we do the exploitation of coal which was only possible because fungi that could eat dead trees evolved after trees did. Is this perspective right, or in need of adjustment?

Looking forwards, picking the right discount rate for a 50 meter rise in sea level is impossible in the abstract: you need a scenario which decides how civilization will allocate the enormous loss of investment (and notably, how much of the allocation will be done via famine, the exchange of nuclear weapons, etc.) Yet when economist grapple with climate change, most turn to a carbon tax at a modest level, which allows holding all other assumptions constant, and does not look decades into the future, when the real harm looms. Is this acceptable?

Can economics model a system dominated by a one-time exploitation of carbon reserves which created civilization as we know it, and may soon transform it beyond recognition?

A question for Dani Rodrik: Does he still advocate faith-based economic recipes for industrial policy?

For example in 2010 Rodrik wrote an oped at Project Syndicate titled ‘The Return of Industrial Policy’ http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/the-return-of-industrial-policy

My original comment in response to that oped (rewritten and reposted in 2012 after the website's revamp) was the following: crosspost https://www.economist.com/users/michael%20heller/comments?page=1

“Dani Rodrik's article at Project Syndicate is faith-based economics. There is a religious quality about Rodrik's stubborn belief in government’s divine capacity to shape efficient economic designs. Since his writing is very influential as well as wrong-headed, it needs refutation.

First, Rodrik calls for various forms of organized government-business collaboration. In the advanced societies this was called corporatism. Despite having the advantage of modern state institutional capacity Germany and the UK largely gave up corporatism when it became obvious that corporatism was inflexible and non-evolutionary. In developing countries without formal divisions of powers and democratic accountability, government-business 'embeddedness' is more likely to simply take the form of collusion and rent seeking. Rather than engineering “financial incentives” or utopian “states of mind”, governments can more usefully focus on the economic incentives that nature provides by improving regulatory framework to ensure formally equal playing fields for competitive markets in which the incentive for cost discovery is the possibility of extinction.

Second, Rodrik calls for temporary and performance-based government incentives. This is pie in the sky. No political system has ever been devised that could withstand the interest-group pressures implied by any state-activist form of promoting business. It may reasonably be said in line with Schumpeterian theory that government’s job is to ensure that monopolistic privileges generated by market actors can only ever be temporary. It is not, however, government’s role to generate those privileges in the shape of subsidies or protection given in return for state-defined performance targets.

Third, Rodrik calls for transparent and accountable decision making in industrial policy, leaving the field open to new entrants. The welfare states in advanced democracies are already overloaded. It is absurd to suggest that governments should actually expand their field of microlevel discretionary decision making about individual enterprises. Authoritarian industrial policy is bad enough. ‘Democratic’ industrial policy subject to public choice lobbying dynamics would be worse!

Fourth, Rodrik claims there is a difference between picking winners and identifying losers. The distinction is spurious. It would not be necessary to identify a loser (and withdraw a public subsidy) unless there had already been a wasteful effort to pick a winner. Whilst it is true that learning is by doing, i.e. by trial and error, the prior task of policymaking can reasonably be to predict the unintended consequences of stupid policies. There is no point in making errors deliberately for the sake of learning. The onus of cost discovery should lie with business (when it fails) rather than the government that foots the bill. In any case, monitoring of business errors by government requires an unlikely army of politically detached and superbly disciplined bureaucrats. Even if bureaucrats had enough expert knowledge of economic life to pick winners and identify losers (which they don’t) it would still be a costly, risky and unnecessary task for government to undertake.

Fifth, there is of course evidence that industrial policy can succeed, for a while. But there are just as many examples of its catastrophic failure. If we leave aside island or city states such as Singapore, there is not a single country in the world in which the types of large-scale and prolonged neoactivism Rodrik proposes in his most recent book have not eventually led to political decay and economic crisis. Just look at Japan. (China cannot possibly sustain its present path.)

I describe the Weberian counter-logic to Rodrik’s neoactivism more fully in chapter six of my book Capitalism, Institutions, and Economic Development (2009).

Michael G. Heller”

More efficiently described - the Karamazovs or the Karenin/Karenina pair? Definitely not a trick question in any way.

What’s the direction of causality – better political and strong institutions lead to economic growth or advancing economy leads to strengthening of political and institutional structures?

A related question on corruption – Does economic growth lead to reduction in corruption or reduction in corruption lead to growth?

If the answer is depends, what are those conditions? Helpful if he can use specific examples of countries to illustrate this.

Assuming the worst case scenario for China - that it can not be as inventive as the West. But going by current strengths it can be a fast and low-cost innovator which is good at commercialization of products. It bring discoveries/ inventions quickly and cheaply to the market. That is it is like Japan but much bigger in scale. Based purely on this manufacturing-commercial strength is there a potential for moderate but continued long-term growth by China? I say this because despite all the heat and noise about Outsourcing, the United States still imports a very small part of its GDP and there is room for much more. Does China's weakness in Global Finance preclude its further rise? Basically (in current context) should a battle for global economic domination must involve a battle for Reserve Currency and all efforts are bound to fail if this weakness is not addressed? OR can this battle be won purely based on trade surpluses and a subsequent shift to Reserve Currency will only be a natural corollary / follow through?

China has been at the receiving end of the Trilemma since it raised yuan and lifted capital controls (costlier exports and money outflows)۔ Can China's current (lame?) efforts at Internationalisation of the Yuan be seen as an effort to erode dollar domination and clear the way for a more equal economic contest between the two? If China now brings back capital controls and goes back to an export growth (slow) and consumption-shift (slow growth) model for a 7-10 year stretch. After this period, can a more powerful China be able to enact a similar challenge to the dollar but more successfully this time.

Premature Industrialization.
Is Convegence (if it takes place!) multi-speed? Does Income Convergence which is slow and painful take place before the much slower Convergence of Industrialization?
Premature Industrialization - Is the IPR regime and stricter IPR implementation a more fundamental explanation for this than Globalization as you say? That latecomers are under-equipped to get into middle-tech and high-tech exports. And this regime sort of contains them into a low-tech space. Low-tech room is crowded and nobody makes much of a profit there and so they stay stuck in it. The available space of (Open Source) Low-Tech technology is the limit to what the latecomers can hope for. And they achieve this quick and then face resistance in further progress in manufacturing; in desperation the economy changes course towards services for growth. As a result the manufacturing percentage declines and so this seems like peak manufacturing. But I am sure you will agree it is only a local maxima. Over the decades a tiny few among them they will claw their way into middle-tech and higher. And then their manufacturing percentage should then climb and converge with the lower post-peak Western manufacturing percentages? Ofcourse never reaching the high peak manufacturing rates of the western economies. But then, not needing to as well. So no need for a dirge or a requiem...We can see that Japan Korea and Taiwan are the lucky few who sneaked in before stricter IPR rules came into place. And even China has managed to reach where it has - a sort of middle ground - through some muscular though disputable reverse engineering. So can one say that IPR is an even greater western innovation than one is led to believe, prima facie?

Economics Rules-> Multiple pathways of growth and various nations at different lifecycle stages on such pathways. So different theories apply to these different contexts and conditions. OK! But physicists assume a common underlying factor behind the different natural forces - electromagnetic; weak; strong and gravity. The Holy Grail for them is to work to uncover a theory which unifies them into one broad understanding like Grand Unified Theory or SuperUnified Theory. Maybe a bit later Economics will attempt the same?

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