Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Minorities and the Markets

Amy Chua wrote an interesting book, The World on Fire: how exporting free market democracy breeds ethnic hatred and global instability. See here for an interview.

The thought is that certain 'entrepreneurial minorities' (e.g. the Jews and the Chinese) are the principle benefactors of economic openess... the majority is not too happy about this and that creates ressentment with all sorts of terrible consequences.

It seems difficult to solve this issue but Chua seems to believe a little too much in affirmative action politicies. (In this sense the interview is a bit too Rawlsian.)

In my eye they never solve solve the issue and are quite likely to aggravate the ethnic tensions. See a recent book of Sowell.

UPDATE. There is also an interesting chapter (entrepreneurial minorities) in the book Essential Outsiders of Daniel Chirot. Here the socio-economic of the Jews in Europe in the 19th century is compared to that of the Chinese diaspora in Asia in the 20th century.

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