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The Rules of the Global Game
Kenneth W. Dam
Price: $ 19

Economic news once confined to the business pages of the newspapers now receives headline coverage, whether it involves protests in Seattle or sweatshops in Asia. As attention comes increasingly to be focused on economic policy, it becomes even more important for noneconomists to be able to make sense of the stories and the coverage. Is the Asian economy sinking or rising? What effects will a single European currency have on the U.S. economy? Kenneth W. Dam's The Rules of the Global Game provides, in clear and practical language, a framework to help readers understand and answer these types of questions.

Dam first lays out what the U.S. international economic policies are and compares them to what they should be based on how they affect U.S. per capita income. With this foundation in place, Dam then develops principles that he applies to elucidating the major components of economic policy, such as foreign trade and investment, international monetary and financial systems, and current controversial issues, including intellectual property and immigration. Underlying his explanations is a belief in the importance of worldwide free trade and open markets, but also, crucially, an understanding of the political forces that shape decision making. Because economic policy is not created in a political vacuum, Dam argues, sound policymaking requires an understanding of "statecraft"the creation and use of institutions that channel the efforts of interest groups and political forces in directions that encourage good economic outcomes.

A rare book that can be read with pleasure and profit by layperson and economist alike, The Rules of the Global Game allows readers to get beyond the headlines to understand the policies that shape our economy and thus our lives.

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