Herbert Giersch is one of Germany's most prominent economists and an outstanding contributor to the debate on European economic policy. Openness for Prosperity brings together his major essays in macroeconomic policy, written or published over the past two and a half decades. In these twenty nontechnical essays, Giersch clearly demonstrates the essential connection between theoretical academic research and the creation of economic policy, reflecting his belief that the study of economics should lead to improvement of the social order and of the quality of human life. Some of the policy positions that Giersch favors are free trade, limits to government, and openness of economies to future possibilities.
The chapters are arranged in two parts with the first focusing on economic growth and structural change and the second on issues of monetary policy, inflation, and exchange rates. The essays are arranged chronologically according to the dates of publication or writing to suggest how topics and emphases have changed over time.
The first part, reflecting Giersch's support of Schumpeter's views, includes essays on aspects of growth, protectionism in foreign trade, the role of entrepreneurship in the 1980s, prospects and problems for European economic integration in the 1990s, the lessons to be learned from West Germany's transition to a market economy, and the author's vision of the European and world economies at the end of this century. In the second part, essays address such issues as flexible exchange rates, indexation, IMF surveillance over exchange rates, neglected aspects of inflation, the effect of central bank independence on monetary policy, and the relationship between real exchange rates and comparative economic growth.