This book provides a tremendous compilation of theories and ideas for researchers and individuals with high interest in the field of economic development and international laws, especially in developing economies. This book may also be useful to researchers and business entities interested in the field of international business law.
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The background of the authors
The two contributors acknowledged for compiling and editing the book include Abel Mateus and Eleanor M. Fox. Having been born in New York, Eleanor M. Fox attended Vassar College in 1956 for a bachelor’s degree in law. She, later on, joined the New York University School of Law in 1961 for a master’s degree and Ph.D. Fox was the Associate Professor of Law in 1976 at the New York University School of Law. Since 1994, Eleanor has been working at The New York University School of Law as a Professor of Trade Regulation.
Abel Mateus is a Portuguese economist currently working at the New University of Lisbon as a Professor of Economics. Previously, Abel was the President of the Portuguese Competition Authority. In addition, Abel Mateus has worked with the World Bank as a Chief Economist, a position he held for over ten years. Mateus is one of the Portuguese economists widely acknowledged for having rescued Portugal from the economic crisis of 1977. He has also taught economics in several notable universities.
The main ideas and major objectives of the book
The two editors mainly compile essays and theories that examine the laws of competition and their significant impact on economic growth and development. While concentrating mostly on less developed countries (LDCs), the book examines how various obstacles such as government barriers and poor economic development can affect free competition in these economies. The book has assembled several essays and theories that address how these obstacles can be removed in order to allow fair competition in developing economies.
The main ideas in the book are compiled in two volumes. While the first volume examines mainly the permissible plan of the political and cost-effective trade policies, the second volume focuses mainly on various issues surrounding competition law and means of enforcing these competition laws. In regards to political and economic trade policies, the first volume addresses the various myths and assumptions put forward by international organizations that there is an already existing foundation in less developed economies for the anticipated market mechanisms.
Secondly, the first volume examines how free and fair market competition can help provide for greater institutional responsibility and transparency. Lastly, the first volume addresses the effects of the high cost of transportation and restraining business practices on potential gains from any competitive market structure. Therefore, the major objective of the book, as discussed in the first volume, is to address the factors that limit fair competition in the market, especially in underdeveloped countries.
The articles in the second volume examine how sound legal strategies and transparent law can help enhance competition and improve economic development in developing economies. Other important ideas examined in the second volume include factors contributing to the difference between underdeveloped economies and highly developed economies and how monopolies and cartels have contributed to unfair competition, especially in competitive markets. The main objective of the book, as revealed by the second volume, is to address the main legal and institutional factors that contribute to less economic development, especially in underdeveloped economies.
The context of the impetus for the book
The book mainly reveals how political bodies and institutions have contributed to the underdevelopment in most of the underdeveloped economies. Therefore, the book makes a lot of political controversies, especially in regards to how the corrupt nature of most governments has impeded economic development in most of the developing countries. In addition, the two authors state that poor policies, theories, and practices are the major factors contributing to imperfect competition, especially in competitive markets. For that reason, the two authors agree that a review of the policies and theories presently applied is the key step to facilitating economic development in less developed countries. Additionally, the book provides room for further research on obstacles impeding economic development in underdeveloped countries.
Comparison with other books
While most books in the field of economics have only focused on the general economic development strategies for any economy, the book Economic “Development: the Role of Competition Law and Policy” mainly examines the major causes of poor economic development and the specific strategies needed for facilitating economic development in underdeveloped countries. The book also goes ahead and addresses how economic theories can be incorporated with international political laws in an attempt to facilitate economic growth and development, especially in underdeveloped and developing economies. Though this book addresses the same political and economic issues affecting many economies in the world, the fact that it goes ahead and incorporates elements of international political laws make it quite unique from most books addressing issues related to economic development.
Comments about the strength and weaknesses of the book
The strength of the book
This book uses relevant economic theories and concepts to provide a detailed analysis of the factors impeding economic development in underdeveloped and developing economies. In addition, the two authors compile major essays and theories that have been very successful in promoting economic growth in developed countries such as the United States and Britain. Each essay addresses the most relevant concepts necessary for facilitating economic growth in developing economies. For instance, both authors agree that government transparency and accountability are among the key factors that can help promote fair competition in the economy.
The Weakness of the book
The book fails to address how factors, including brain drain and massive transfer of capital by international corporations operating in developing countries, contribute to poor economic development in these countries. The openness of economies to direct foreign investment (FDI) has resulted in a massive transfer of capital away from host countries. In addition, when educated individuals and experts from developing countries leave their countries in search of greener pasture, they create a shortage of labor, thus impeding economic development in their countries. The major limitation of the book, therefore, is that it concentrates only on the effect of political and structural factors on economic development but ignores the importance of human resources in economic development.
In conclusion, the two editors Abel Mateus and Eleanor Fox, have been very successful in addressing some of the factors that have contributed largely to poor economic growth and development in developing economies. All the essays compiled in the book provide both relevant and extremely useful policies and tools necessary for addressing issues related to economic development.
Fox, Eleanor, and Abel Mateus, eds. Economic Development: The Critical Role of Competition Law and Policy. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Pub, 2011. Print.