A good friend told me once that he enjoyed my blog, but that I should stay away from posts that are too self-centered or else risk developing a syndrome he associated with another economist blogger who shall remain nameless. I have tried to heed his advice since. But what is a blog for if you are not going to blow your own horn once in a while?
So in that spirit, here are two recent papers who focus on and evaluate my work on development and globalization. One, by Derek Headey of the University of Queensland is called "What Professor Rodrik Means by Policy Reform." The other, by Yan Islam of Griffith University, is called "Saving Globalization from its Cheerleaders: The Economics of Dani Rodrik." Headey's paper is the more critical of the two, but I am happy to report that neither paper left me feeling defensive.
According to Islam
Some economists have described Rodrik as a ‘globalisation skeptic’. Others have expressed concern that his work has encouraged a new wave of populism in the developing world. I will argue that these concerns misrepresent his ideas. While Rodrik does not regard the anti-globalisation movement as a threat to the international community, he does not share their rejectionist disposition. Rodrik, as I seek to demonstrate in this paper, is certainly a critic of the cheerleaders of globalisation primarily because he believes that their prescriptions are not based on sound economic analyses, nor are they anchored in robust empirical evidence. The cheerleaders make their case by conceptualizing mainstream economics as a representation of neoliberal economics. Cheerleaders of globalisation thus fail to recognize the eclecticism inherent in mainstream economics. Globalisation as a process can engender multiple benefits for both poor and rich nations, but it needs to be rescued from the narrow world-view of the cheerleaders.
despite the increasing notoriety of the work of Rodrik and his collaborators ... and some clear enunciation of precisely what it is this emerging school of thought rejects, it seems rather more difficult for the occasional reader to definitively say what it is that Professor Rodrik and his collaborators definitively embrace. Is Rodrik a free or strategic trader? Is he a supporter of government-led industrialization? Is he a shock therapist or a gradualist? Is he an institutionalist, and if he is, what kind of institutionalist? Considering how widely cited Professor Rodrik and his colleagues are, it is unusually difficult to associate his work with clear-cut answers to these questions.
I wonder why both papers originate from academics based in Australia. I can see no particular reason my work should have been more influential (or notorious) in Australia. Perhaps there is more of a tradition of writing this kind of paper there?
And then there is the problem mentioned in the title of this post