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Book Notices

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Published Date:
September 1964
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Laulan, Yves, Marehé Commun et Conjoncture Concertée, Paris, Societé d’Edition d’Enseignement Superieur, 1963, 278 pp., F 18

MR. LAULAN, who during 1962–63 was an economist in the International Monetary Fund, has now published the doctoral thesis in economics which he submitted to the University of Bordeaux in November 1961. The thesis is neither a forbidding compilation, overladen with references, nor a remote essay in mathematical theory. It can be read with sustained interest, and it is recommended to everyone interested in economic questions, which the author treats with admirable seriousness and common sense. In the first part of his book, the author examines the various instruments of economic policy that have been employed by the members of the European Economic Community (EEC) during the last decade, and passes judgment on their effectiveness. In the second, normative part, he reviews the instruments that the EEC countries should employ individually and collectively to overcome economic difficulties.

Mr. Laulan is particularly insistent on the inadequacy of a monetary policy that is not accompanied by a fiscal policy, and he underlines the need for a wage policy, which nowadays is more appropriately described as an incomes policy. The various possibilities in the field of economic policy which the Treaty of Rome offers to the Community institutions are examined; some of the author’s proposals had already been adopted by the time his book appeared. It is unfortunate that the long delay between the submission of the thesis and its publication has not given the author the opportunity to make a detailed survey of the events of the last two years. Although these events have certainly not upset his general perspective, an examination of them would have allowed him a more exact formulation of his thesis. More attention might also have been given to the necessity, and to the methods, of observing cyclical developments in such a way as to allow the authorities to use instruments at their disposal on the basis of present developments’, and not of past developments. But these are marginal notes only, and do not detract at all from the merit of Mr. Laulan’s work.

Jean van der Mensbrugghe

Zack, Arnold, Labor Training in Developing Countries, Frederick A. Praeger, New York, 1964, 112 pp., $5.50.

FOR MOST of this century, trade unions in the more highly developed countries have extended aid and various training services to trade unions elsewhere, in the form of money, official visitors, journals, etc. The older unions’ motivation has been fraternal, their work an element of the international labor movement. Among their aims may have been the building of trade unions in the new countries to such a level that their work standards and wages would be nearly equal to those of the older country, thus reducing competition from sweated labor in international trade.

Since World War II, a number of noncommunist trade union programs have been launched to train and develop trade union leadership in less developed countries from motives similar to those above, but on a wider scale. Mr. Zack’s book describes how a number of the training programs operate—what they teach, who teaches, to what student body, how chosen, and so forth. He includes the work of three centers operated by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (a supersyndicate of noncommunist national trade union centers), two centers operating within universities, one operated by the Indian Government, two by national trade union centers (United States and Israel), and one operated by the International Labor Organization, although this last also trains students from all sectors of society in many aspects of economic development. Several of the centers Mr. Zack describes have support from governments.

Mr. Zack’s descriptions of where the centers are, what they do, with whom, and by what techniques, offer interesting facts, which should be useful to readers involved in setting up new, or modifying old, programs of training labor union leadership. In his description of why the work goes on, what accomplishments may result if the training is completely successful, and what consequences to the developing economy may flow from such a successful outcome, he is rather less successful. He speaks of trade unions and their training centers making the “rank and file” better aware and better prepared to demand and discharge their “rights and responsibilities,” but does not make it altogether clear who and what these are.

Mr. Zack sums up:

“Are labor training programs successes or failures? Has one type been more successful than another?

“Clearly, not all the programs have been failures. To the extent that they have brought trade union leaders together from diverse backgrounds, giving them a feeling of camaraderie, and taught them some lessons in economics and labor relations, they have made a valuable contribution. But these few benefits do not necessarily indicate that the programs have been ‘successful.’”

However, he finds some encouragement in the fact that, while many graduates of training programs are no longer engaged in trade union activities, some of them have shifted to industrial relations work in private industry where, Mr. Zack feels, their training is put to good use in stabilizing labor relations and in implanting a more wholesome attitude in management.

George Tobias

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