Best Business Book - Economics / Strategy + Business 2011


“Among the many books written on the new world economy, this is one of the most profound. A must-read for everyone interested in the mega-trends shaping the future of the world economy.”

JUSTIN YIFU LIN, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, World Bank

“Among economists, common sense is not that common. Fortunately, Michael Spence has long bucked the trend. In this book he dispenses wisdom on economic growth—and much else—in accessible, bite-sized chunks. The world’s policy makers better listen.”

DANI RODRIK, Rafiq Hariri Professor of International Political Economy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

“The emergence of China is just part of an amazing catching-up process going on in the world. We all feel this profound change, but few of us have the ability to step back, put it in perspective, analyze the past, and guess where the future is taking us. Michael Spence has it, and he delivers. This is serious thinking on essential issues. I learned a lot from the book, both in the small and in the large; I am sure other readers will as well.”

OLIVIER BLANCHARD, Chief Economist, International Monetary Fund; Class of 1941 Professor Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“I always knew that Michael Spence was a terrific economist. After reading this book I realize that he also has the rare ability to see the world economy—all of it, rich and poor—with clarity, reason, and empathy. If you are looking for a lucid, readable, consistent, unprejudiced picture of what has been happening and what might happen next in the world economy, this is an excellent place to find it.”

ROBERT SOLOW, winner of the 1987 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences

“Rarely does one find a book that is so powerful in its analysis, timely in its topic, relevant in its thinking, and clear in its exposition. Combining his Nobel Prize–winning theoretical brilliance and unmatched operational experience, Michael Spence explains clearly complex multispeed dynamics that are rapidly impacting our world and influencing the current and future well-being of billions. This is by far the best book I have seen on today's historical growth transformations.”

MOHAMED A. EL-ERIAN, CEO and co-CIO of PIMCO; and author of "When Markets Collide"



"Cogent, comprehensive, and compelling, his book sorts out the issues, forces and trends driving "the Inclusiveness Revolution," the challenges facing China and India, and the impact on incomes, natural resources, and the environment." Read more...


"Michael Spence has written an intelligent, rational and humane book about the great economic event of our era: convergence, or the rapid rise of once poor countries. Anyone seeking a common-sense guide to the transformation under way need look no further." Read more...



"In one chapter of his sharp new book "The Next Convergence," the economist Michael Spence asks a simple yet evocative question: Why do we want our economy to grow? Spoiler alert: He does find a few good reasons. It's rare, though, to hear an economist raise even theoretical doubt over such a deeply ingrained assumption in Western economies; one may as well ask why we want electricity." Read more...



"In a new book, Nobel laureate Michael Spence aims to help CFOs understand what growth will look like in a world where developed economies and emerging ones are moving at very different speeds." Read more...



"I enjoyed reading this book.  It is an entirely sensible take on catch-up growth, a topic which is lacking a good popular treatment and yet deserves one.  I found each of the short chapters well-written and to the point." Read more...



"Michael Spence has long been pointing out the frictions that interfere with efficient markets. He won the Nobel prize in economics for this in 2001, together with George Akerlof and Joseph Stiglitz. In recent years Mr Spence has been preoccupied with the economics of development and growth, and his interest in laissez-faire’s flaws has stayed with him. His new book, “The Next Convergence”, warns of the frictions that arise when the world tries to accommodate both rapidly-growing emerging giants like India and China and slow-growing developed countries like America." Read more...

THE ECONOMIST, from the print edition and online at ECONOMIST.COM


"Contrary to his book’s title, Nobel Prize–winning economist Spence does less prognosticating than one might expect. Indeed, early on he shares a chart showing just how inaccurately economists predicted growth during the 1990s. Instead, he offers a comprehensive summary of the forces at play in today’s global economy: removal of trade barriers, the lightning-fast transfer of knowledge from developed to emerging economies, global demand, resources, the role of national and international governments, and the management (or not) of currency rates, among others. Spence’s style is pretty flat (Where’s John Kenneth Galbraith when we need him?), and he seems to underestimate the looming role of climate change in any economic scenario. Yet his status report could give attentive readers a more empowered role in their own economic future." Read more...


"...the two most populous countries—China and India—began to grow at rates close to 10 percent. If these trends continue, we will witness, in our lifetimes, a third historical swing: a renewed convergence of living standards. What was once the privilege of a favored few will become commonplace for many. This potentially epochal process is the subject of Michael Spence’s remarkable new book, 'The Next Convergence'." Read more...

JOSH FELMAN, Finance & Development Magazine

JINOY JOSE P., Businessworld, India 


"The World is Flat! China is the Future! America is Finished! Many of our most celebrated econopundits traffic in such oversimplified, sensationalized rhetoric, especially in times of market turmoil and economic uncertainty. But the global economy is too complicated for slogans. Which is one reason why Michael Spence’s new book is so refreshing. Spence, who shared the Nobel Prize in economics with Joseph Stiglitz in 2001, has systematically investigated the origins of hypergrowth, the process through which national economies rise from poverty to relative prosperity. In “The Next Convergence,” he presents a nuanced, highly readable argument on the symbiotic, fraught relationship between today’s booming developing markets and the seemingly stagnant developed ones." Read more...

DANIEL GROSS, The Washington Post


READ THE EXCERPT  |  The Next Convergence: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World


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