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April 10 – Friday
Does Democracy Promote Development?
4:30 p.m. – Robert A. Jones ’59 House conference room
A lecture by Strom Thacker, Associate Professor of International Relations at Boston University, and Director of Latin American Studies Program. He is a Faculty Affiliate of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University and a Fellow at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Rage Future at Boston University. He is author of Democracy and Development: A Historical Perspective (with John Gerring, forthcoming), A Centripetal Theory of Democratic Governance (with John Gerring, 2008), and Big Business, the State, and Free Trade: Constructing Coalitions in Mexico (2008). Sponsored by the Rohatyn Center for International Affairs, the International Politics and Economics Program, the Department of Economics, and the Department of Political Science
More information is available via: http://www.middlebury.edu/administration/rcfia/events/#Apr%2009
Before the current economic crisis, I wondered about several things:
(1) How would the Chinese fare if foreign demand declined? At the time, I feared political backlash, that Western export-competing producers might secure protection from Chinese imports. But the current economic crisis has served to produce the same result: skittishness on the part of consumers in the West has decreased demand for Chinese exports.
(2) How long could the Chinese government continue to encourage exports at the cost of increased domestic consumption? Simply put, when would the Chinese consumers begin clamoring to keep more of their products at home for their own use?
I just ran across an article in BusinessWeek that addresses some of these issues. In response to decreased foreign demand, Chinese manufacturers appear to be reorienting production towards the home (Chinese) market.
The competition there, however, is fierce. This latter insights sheds some light on my second question. The answer seems to be that the margins in China are much, much thinner. Simply put, there are more producers chasing less demand; and the demand is low, I presume, because incomes are low.
Here’s the article:
Thanks to those of you who emailed.