Creating a Learning Society: A New Approach to Growth, Development, and Social Progress
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Creating a Learning Society explains how the countries of the world went from centuries of stagnation to the enormous increases in standards of living that have marked the last two hundred and fifty years: they have learned how to learn. Yet, as Stiglitz and Greenwald make clear, markets won’t succeed on their own in creating the learning society that we need. Achieving this requires good governmental policy in a variety of areas, including trade, industry, and intellectual property. Indeed, the central thesis of this book is that every policytax, regulation, and expenditureaffects learning, and that policymakers have been remiss in ignoring this. Some policies, such as the Washington Consensus policies foisted on developing countries by the World Bank and IMF, actually impede learning. In advanced and developing countries alike, Creating a Learning Society has had a remarkable reception. Governments in Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey, Jordan, and South Africa have signaled strong support for its policies, and a Dutch think tank closely allied with the government released a blueprint for creating a learning economy. This streamlined edition, intended for everyone from scholars to general readers, omits the original book’s complicated mathematical equations and, in accessible language, focuses on its central messages and policy prescriptions.