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Europe's Growth Champion: Insights from the Economic Rise of Poland

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What makes countries rich? What makes countries poor? Europe's Growth Champion: Insights from the Economic Rise of Poland seeks to answer these questions, and many more, through a study of one of the biggest, and least heard about, economic success stories. Over the last twenty-five years Poland has transitioned from a perennially backward, poor, and peripheral country to u What makes countries rich? What makes countries poor? Europe's Growth Champion: Insights from the Economic Rise of Poland seeks to answer these questions, and many more, through a study of one of the biggest, and least heard about, economic success stories. Over the last twenty-five years Poland has transitioned from a perennially backward, poor, and peripheral country to unexpectedly join the ranks of the world's high income countries. Europe's Growth Champion is about the lessons learned from Poland's remarkable experience, the conditions that keep countries poor, and the challenges that countries need to face in order to grow. It defines a new growth model that Poland and its Eastern European peers need to adopt in order to continue to grow and catch up with their Western counterparts. Europe's Growth Champion emphasizes the importance of the fundamental sources of growth– institutions, culture, ideas, and leaders– in economic development. It argues that a shift from an extractive society, where the few rule for the benefit of the few, to an inclusive society, where many rule for the benefit of many, was the key to Poland's success. It asserts that a newly emerged inclusive society will support further convergence of Poland and the rest of Central and Eastern Europe with the West, and help to sustain the region's Golden Age. It also acknowledges the future challenges that Poland faces, and that moving to the core of the European economy will require further reforms and changes in Poland's developmental character.


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What makes countries rich? What makes countries poor? Europe's Growth Champion: Insights from the Economic Rise of Poland seeks to answer these questions, and many more, through a study of one of the biggest, and least heard about, economic success stories. Over the last twenty-five years Poland has transitioned from a perennially backward, poor, and peripheral country to u What makes countries rich? What makes countries poor? Europe's Growth Champion: Insights from the Economic Rise of Poland seeks to answer these questions, and many more, through a study of one of the biggest, and least heard about, economic success stories. Over the last twenty-five years Poland has transitioned from a perennially backward, poor, and peripheral country to unexpectedly join the ranks of the world's high income countries. Europe's Growth Champion is about the lessons learned from Poland's remarkable experience, the conditions that keep countries poor, and the challenges that countries need to face in order to grow. It defines a new growth model that Poland and its Eastern European peers need to adopt in order to continue to grow and catch up with their Western counterparts. Europe's Growth Champion emphasizes the importance of the fundamental sources of growth– institutions, culture, ideas, and leaders– in economic development. It argues that a shift from an extractive society, where the few rule for the benefit of the few, to an inclusive society, where many rule for the benefit of many, was the key to Poland's success. It asserts that a newly emerged inclusive society will support further convergence of Poland and the rest of Central and Eastern Europe with the West, and help to sustain the region's Golden Age. It also acknowledges the future challenges that Poland faces, and that moving to the core of the European economy will require further reforms and changes in Poland's developmental character.

36 review for Europe's Growth Champion: Insights from the Economic Rise of Poland

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michal

    Piątkowski's book is the most thorough, well-cited and full analysis of Polish economic history. The book disposes with the national myths of the golden age of XVI. century showing the Commonwealth's backwardness in almost every economic and technological aspect instead arguing that the real golden age is in fact happening right now. The author uses an updated version of Acemoglu-Johnson-Robinson model which emphasises institutions as the main engine of economic growth. Well documented instances Piątkowski's book is the most thorough, well-cited and full analysis of Polish economic history. The book disposes with the national myths of the golden age of XVI. century showing the Commonwealth's backwardness in almost every economic and technological aspect instead arguing that the real golden age is in fact happening right now. The author uses an updated version of Acemoglu-Johnson-Robinson model which emphasises institutions as the main engine of economic growth. Well documented instances of extractive and inclusice institutions are brought up, most surprising of which is communism in Poland after WW2, which was described as the main source of egalitarianism helping the post 89's stable growth. I recommend this position to anyone interested in sources of economic growth and especially to each Pole: it is a great antidote to several untrue ideas negatively permeating the society.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dnalphonsus

    I know a little bit about development economics and nothing about Poland's economic history. Marcin does a good job summarizing some of the recent economic research on the sources of long-term growth. But his main contribution is, first, explaining the huge divergence between Western and Eastern Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries (one that persisted until the Second World War). He attributes this to an oligarchical political structure and poor rules (consensus voting that made Parliament irre I know a little bit about development economics and nothing about Poland's economic history. Marcin does a good job summarizing some of the recent economic research on the sources of long-term growth. But his main contribution is, first, explaining the huge divergence between Western and Eastern Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries (one that persisted until the Second World War). He attributes this to an oligarchical political structure and poor rules (consensus voting that made Parliament irrelevant) which prevented institutional development and strengthened agrarian feudalism. The discovery of the New World also helped lock-in Eastern Europe's comparative advantage in agriculture. Second, he argues that Communism broke down feudalism allowing the creation of inclusive institutions. Not only was wealth distributed more equally, allowing the development of inclusive institutions following the end of the war, Communist leaders also invested very heavily in education, female labour force participation and did a good job in the basic jump-starts of development encouraging savings, investing it in industrialisation and urbanisation. Third, he argues Poland's greater experience with markets, bi-partisan consensus for embracing markets and becoming Western, EU accession which speeded up the downloading of political technologies developed in the West over centuries (including the acquis communitaire), Western socialized (and aspiring) elites and delayed privatization (combined with Balcerowicz's early shock treatment) helped it become the best performing country of all the former Warsaw Pact states. There are two main areas where he is less than persuasive. First, his views on culture tend to downplay the interaction between culture and institutions. For example, at some point he talks about Islamic culture without engaging with Chaney's work that argues that Arab Conquest - a proxy for poor institutions - rather than Islamic religion or culture can explain some of the underdevelopment that many Islamic states experience. Second, his discussion on shock therapy vs gradual reform was a bit rambling and resolved unsatisfactorily. I suspect its a rather touchy and personal subject for the main characters involved and it may be a bit too early for an insider to write about it with objectivity. I would also have liked more discussion of how the reforms were actually pushed through, i.e., more on the negotiations, the politics (including bureaucratic) and the role of advisors. But that is a book in itself. Hopefully one day Marcin will write that too. Finally, each chapter opens with excellent quotes and the writing is peppered with fun anekdotes. Favourite was "the state is the most previous of all human possessions and no care can be too great to be spent on enabling it to do its work in the best way" (Alfred Marshall).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michal Oleszkiewicz

  4. 4 out of 5

    Azurawski

  5. 5 out of 5

    kojoteqTS

  6. 5 out of 5

    Grzesiek Mazur

  7. 5 out of 5

    Pontesisto

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michal

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jacek Migdal

  10. 5 out of 5

    OutiesPL

  11. 4 out of 5

    Łukasz M. (Wooky)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carl

  13. 4 out of 5

    Klaudia

  14. 5 out of 5

    Adam

  15. 5 out of 5

    mcon

  16. 5 out of 5

    Angus Wilson

  17. 4 out of 5

    Savyasachee

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tom Like

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tomek

  20. 4 out of 5

    Paweł Gałwa

  21. 4 out of 5

    John O'Brien

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stefan G

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dyktator

  24. 5 out of 5

    paszczak

  25. 4 out of 5

    Filip Lubinski

  26. 4 out of 5

    Iona

  27. 4 out of 5

    János Bogárdi

  28. 4 out of 5

    Paweł Jaworski

  29. 4 out of 5

    Patryk

  30. 4 out of 5

    Damon

  31. 5 out of 5

    Filip

  32. 4 out of 5

    Wiktor

  33. 4 out of 5

    Radosław Szeja

  34. 5 out of 5

    Jakub Anusik

  35. 4 out of 5

    TC van der Walt

  36. 4 out of 5

    Herr Tryk

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