Pathways out of Poverty for the 21st Century: The timing of Free Trade.

Erik Reinert, Tallinn University of Technology, NORISS, Norwegian Institute of Strategic Studies, Other Canon Foundation

Why do some countries grow rich while others stay poor? In his talk Erik Reinert will discuss how rich countries from Renaissance Italy to the modern Far East developed through a combination of government intervention, protectionism, and strategic investment in increasing returns industries, consciously diversifying out of a sole dependence on raw materials. Reinert presents a revisionist history of economics and shows how the discipline has long been torn between the continental Renaissance tradition on one hand and free market theories on the other. He argues that our economies were founded on protectionism and state activism and could only later afford the luxury of free trade. His contention is that when our leaders come to lecture poor countries on the right road to riches they do so in almost perfect ignorance of the real history of mass affluence. Protection the increasing returns sector has been a mandatory passage point of all presently rich countries.

About the speaker
Erik S. Reinert is Professor of Technology Governance and Development Strategies at Tallinn University of Technology and president of The Other Canon foundation in Norway. His 2007 book How Rich Countries Got Rich… And Why Poor Countries Stay Poor was a Financial Times bestseller.

Venue: Kapoenstraat 2, Seminar room 09

Date: 29 April 2008

Time: 16:00 - 17:30  CEST