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  • Print publication year: 2014
  • Online publication date: June 2014

17 - Learning about the Evolving International Economy

Summary

Two pre-PhD influences were relevant to my interests as an economist. First, my parents immigrated to the United States from Australia shortly before I was born, and the household was keenly oriented to news from overseas, especially during World War II and in the immediate postwar period. I vividly remember the radio announcement of the German invasion of Poland, Australian flyers staying with us en route to or from the Battle of Britain, and many other events, even though I was only five when World War II began. Later, the postwar reconstruction, the Marshall Plan, Indian independence (and the assassination of Gandhi), the founding of the Bretton Woods institutions, and other developments were a source of excitement and interest.

Second, some of the most interesting of my fellow graduate students were those from developing countries, especially India. From hours of discussion, I learned much about the issues as they were perceived at that time: disguised unemployment, Arthur Lewis’s perfectly elastic labor supply, “export pessimism” with the perceived need for import substitution, “structural inflation,” and so on.

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