What Explains China’s Rise?

In any discussion on economic development, China invariably shows up. How did China manage an economic transformation that it now rivals even the greatest developed economy? Isn’t it amazing that China did that without being a democracy? Or maybe precisely because it is an autocracy that it could do what India, the largest democracy in the world, cannot do?

Those are not easy questions to answer because a story as large as China cannot be easily or quickly told. Big books have been written by reputed scholars on the subject. They are useful, instructive and fascinating. My personal favorite is the book How China Became Capitalist (2012) by Ronald Coase and Ning Wang.

Anyone seriously interested in understanding the economic rise of China should read Coase’s book. (Just by the way, Coase wrote that book at the age 101.) The publisher, Palgrave, gives this as the description of the book: Continue reading “What Explains China’s Rise?”

Ask Me Anything: Owl in the Plane edition

So I am back at home after wandering around in India. I flew Jet Airways between BOM and LHR, and Virgin Atlantic between LHR and IAD. Talking of Jet Airways, an owl had offered to pilot one of their 777s.

An owl was waiting for pilots this morning in Boeing 777-300ER’s cockpit prior flight to London.

I found a nice little poem in the comments to that squawk:

A wise old owl sat on an oak,
The more he saw, the less he spoke,
The less he spoke, the more he heard,
Why can’t we be like that wise old bird?

Continue reading “Ask Me Anything: Owl in the Plane edition”

Happy Birthday, dear Mr Charles Darwin

Today, Feb 12th, marks the birth anniversary of one of humanity’s greatest innovators. Charles Darwin was born on this date in 1809. And so was another great man — Abraham Lincoln — born on the same day and and the same year as Darwin.

Darwin was one of two people who came up with the novel idea that the mechanism for the evolution of biological life was natural selection; Alfred Russell Wallace (1823-1913) was the other person. They explained what makes the biological world tick.

Continue reading “Happy Birthday, dear Mr Charles Darwin”