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Title : Made in Britain. by Evan Davis
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781408703304
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 276 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Made in Britain. by Evan Davis Reviews

  • Converse
    2019-01-08 20:07

    This book is apparently a companion to a BBC television series. I listened to audio version that I downloaded from Audible.com. The subject is basically what Britain sells, with a focus on what it sells abroad. It also describes how Britain compares to other developed nations. The author both describes macroeconomic aspects of the British economy, such as the balance of trade, and also case studies to illuminate economic events, such as a visit to a Chinese factory owned by a British clothing manufacturer to illustrate outsouring. Besides outsourcing, the author investigates manufacturing in general in Britain, intellectual capital, and services. Among the services investigated is Britain's large financial services industry. As this book was written after 2008, he does describe some of the difficulties of the financial sector. He does not pretend to know what Britain's economy will look like in the future and explicitly does not attempt to estimate how the natural environment, and changes to it, affects the British economy. I found the author's approach interesting and informative. For example, the decline of manufacturing in Britain is exaggerated. Employment has declined much more than output, because productivity has increased so greatly. Some industries, such as textiles, are indeed mostly gone, but others, such as pharmaceuticals, thrive. As newer industries tend to be more complicated than earlier ones, they require more intellectual capital, which is one of Britain's strong points. The smaller proportion of the economy devoted to manufacturing mostly reflects increased consumption of services with income, rather than a decline in making stuff. There are problems in manufactering, perhaps linked to a low national savings rate (something an American can hardly feel morally superior about), which has several indirect effects unfavorable to investment in industry, such as raising the exchange rate. But no catastrophe has occurred. The main areas where I disagreed with the author were where I believe he overestimates the utility of economic thought to describing how an economy works. My main disagreement is where he applies the textbook notion of comparitive advantage to describing what Britain is doing. For example, Britain produces a good many jet engines and in general has a large aviation sector, although it does not have a firm such as Boeing which is commonly recognized as an aerospace company. Thus Britain sells a good many jet engines. But this happy circumstance is not due to some innate British fascination with turbines and combustion; it has a lot to do with government support of aerospace for defense. My point is that where comparative advantage exists, it is often created, not some pre-existing "natural" phenomena That said, I basically liked the book and found it informative. If the earlier chapters seemed a bit polly-annish to me, the later ones convinced me that the author did not, over all, view Britain's economic situation too optimistically. As he says, overall a British citizen is highly likely to enjoy one of the highest living standards in the world. Britain would probably be better off in the medium and long term if it saved somewhat more (I believe he means a few percent of GDP more), which would be helpful to its manufactering and would probably reduce a persistent trade deficit with the rest of the world.

  • Jarek
    2019-01-13 20:04

    This book is written by an economist. It really likes the concept of value added.Retailers add value to manufactured goods, because they make it pleasant to buy the goods and people like this. According to this theory, a retailer selling a £10-wholesale towel for £25 is more valuable than the manufacturer, since the retailer's value-add is higher (£15 vs £10 minus cost of supplies). Without the manufacturer there would be nothing to sell, however the author points out that the retailer could just find another manufacturer, much like the manufacturer can find another supplier of fibres to make the towels from.Marketers add value to manufactured goods, because they make people want the goods. In a sentence only an economics journalist could write seriously, the author defends the value of advertising and marketing as "While most people don't read poems to each other, consumerism is an important form of modern cultural expression."At the same time, the book does note that Britain's been running a foreign trade deficit. Apparently all the consumption of brands in the world doesn't make up for not exporting as much as they import. Small steps...

  • Jennifer
    2019-01-14 22:04

    For a 'book of the TV series' I'd've liked much plusher illustrations. Given his parameters (no ethics, no environment) Evan Davis seems pretty persuasive to the non-economist of not especially deep political hue, but I did wonder uneasily if I was being patted gently on the head and told not to worry everything would work out in the end. Not that he was really saying everything is fine - I was interested in his concern at the physical space being given over to some foreigners at the same time as we put up barriers to those (in particular overseas students) who he considers will benefit our economy.

  • Ivan
    2019-01-09 20:05

    I was interested in this book not for a lecture in economics (I'm an economist) but because I wanted to have a clearer perspective on the current state of affairs in the British economy, and in Europe as a whole.I must say the book turned out to give them both. Of course I don't agree with every part of the analysis done by Davis, but even so he was able to give his opinion in a clear, concise and often apolitical way, which is more than you can say for most economists. :)Now that I finished it, I was left feeling that I want another one about France and one for Germany, at least.Very good work. Recommended.

  • Nick Harriss
    2019-01-14 01:02

    I watched the TV series that accompanied this book and found it interesting. The book was very similar and my main grumble is it failed to take many of the arguments into more detail. I think I would probably have enjoyed it more if I hadn't seen the TV series; I would have just accepted the book as a rather high level text, but I had hoped it would put some more meat on the bones. So worthwhile if you haven't seen the TV series or want a refresher (the main benefit from my perspective), but not if you have seen the TV series recently.

  • Lector Inspector
    2019-01-04 23:24

    Simple...and if Evan is doing the ~ funny voices ~ for the quoted characters (in the audiobook version) then he really IS wasted (if not "wasted") on < Newsnight>.

  • Tony
    2019-01-13 20:00

    I find Davis' style a tad grating; just too chummy. But the content was good and worth readung. I found his arguments convincing.