Stress Testing the Global Economy

What clues can past episodes of economic integration provide about the future of globalization? Three recent works offer answers.

Issue: Spring 2002

Harold James, The End of Globalization: Lessons from the Great Depression (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001), 288 pp., $39.95.

Roger M. Kubarych, Stress Testing the System: Simulating the Global Consequences of the Next Financial Crisis (New York: Council on Foreign Relations Press, 2001), 187 pp., $15.

Kevin O'Rourke and Jeffrey Williamson, Globalization and History (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999), 355 pp., $27.95.

The rewards for reducing uncertainty in an uncertain world are so
large that the demand for political and economic forecasts never
ends. Yet demand far outruns supply. We seem unable to predict the
really big system breaks like the fall of Soviet communism or the
Asian crisis, or at any rate to do so persuasively enough for society
to prepare for them. How might we do better?

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