The World Dollar Problem: A Study in International Economics

The World Dollar Problem: A Study in International Economics

The World Dollar Problem: A Study in International Economics

The World Dollar Problem: A Study in International Economics

Excerpt

In terms of productive power the non-Communist world is divided into two roughly equal parts--the United States and the rest. The U.S., with only one-tenth the population, produces roughly as great a quantity of goods and services as all the other nations put together. Each of these two areas trades about 5% of its output with the other, but if this trade gets out of balance the resulting troubles can be much more serious than such a low figure would suggest. The main question discussed in this book is whether, in fact, over the next ten or twenty years, there is likely to be a tendency for the rest of the world to run into deficit with the U.S.

It must be left to the reader to judge whether this further addition to the literature on the dollar problem is justified. Apart from innumerable other books and articles on various aspects we have already had The Dollar Shortage by Professor Kindleberger, The Dollar Crisis by Mr. Balogh and The Dollar by Mr. Harrod. To each of these authors I am indebted for many things. Though at first I regretted their pre-emption of three such convenient titles, I am now confident that I would in any case have chosen The World Dollar Problem for reasons that will emerge as the book proceeds. The sub-title--
A Study in International Economics--is intended to indicate that, while the book is primarily about the dollar problem, it deals with a good many matters that may be of more general interest to those concerned with international economic problems and with the theory of international trade.

I have tried to make the book intelligible both to those who are professional economists and to those who are not. This is my main excuse for the number and length of the footnotes and appendices, to which technical economic and statistical matters have been confined so far as possible. At the end of each chapter there is a section entitled 'Summary and Conclusions'. Some of those who kindly read the book in draft found these tiresome, unnecessary and distracting; but others found them useful. After a good deal of thought I decided to leave them in, although they add to the length of the book, but to reassure those who prefer to skip them that they will . . .

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