Builders vs burglars: who will win in South Africa?
A new book shows how taking a long view of economic history casts South Africa’s current travails in a more optimistic light, and reveals the importance of embracing technical innovation and expanding economic freedom as a route to prosperity
If you are intrigued as to what makes a perfect soldier, or why Indian brides have a dowry but African grooms pay lobola, or why the Transkei was once the world’s biggest producer of chopsticks, then economic history could be your thing.
One book, in particular, has been making waves: Our Long Walk to Economic Freedom, by Stellenbosch University economics professor Johan Fourie. He put it together during the lockdown, when he transcribed 34 of his lectures for students and realised he was holding a book that provided a uniquely South African perspective on the top research finds in economic history over the past decade...
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