The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics

The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics

by William R. Easterly
     
 

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ISBN-10: 026205065X

ISBN-13: 9780262050654

Pub. Date: 07/01/2001

Publisher: MIT Press

Since the end of World War II, economists have tried to figure out how poor countries in the tropics could attain standards of living approaching those of countries in Europe and North America. Attempted remedies have included providing foreign aid, investing in machines, fostering education, controlling population growth, and making aid loans as well as forgiving

Overview

Since the end of World War II, economists have tried to figure out how poor countries in the tropics could attain standards of living approaching those of countries in Europe and North America. Attempted remedies have included providing foreign aid, investing in machines, fostering education, controlling population growth, and making aid loans as well as forgiving those loans on condition of institutional reforms. None of these solutions has delivered as promised. The problem is not the failure of economics, William Easterly argues, but the failure to apply economic principles to practical policy work.

In this book Easterly shows how these solutions all violate the basic principle of economics, that people -- private individuals and businesses, government officials, even aid donors -- respond to incentives. Easterly first discusses the importance of growth. He then analyzes the development solutions that have failed. Finally, he suggests alternative approaches to the problem. Written in an accessible, at times irreverent, style, Easterly's book combines modern growth theory with anecdotes from his fieldwork for the World Bank.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262050654
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
07/01/2001
Pages:
356
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsix
Prologue: The Questxi
IWhy Growth Matters1
1To Help the Poor5
Intermezzo: In Search of a River16
IIPanaceas That Failed21
2Aid for Investment25
Intermezzo: Parmila45
3Solow's Surprise: Investment Is Not the Key to Growth47
Intermezzo: Dry Cornstalks70
4Educated for What?71
Intermezzo: Without a Refuge85
5Cash for Condoms?87
Intermezzo: Tomb Paintings99
6The Loans That Were, the Growth That Wasn't101
Intermezzo: Leila's Story121
7Forgive Us Our Debts123
Intermezzo: Cardboard House138
IIIPeople Respond to Incentives141
8Tales of Increasing Returns: Leaks, Matches, and Traps145
Intermezzo: War and Memory170
9Creative Destruction: The Power of Technology171
Intermezzo: Accident in Jamaica193
10Under an Evil Star195
Intermezzo: Favela Life215
11Governments Can Kill Growth217
Intermezzo: Florence and Veronica240
12Corruption and Growth241
Intermezzo: Discrimination in Palanpur253
13Polarized Peoples255
Intermezzo: Violent for Centuries282
14Conclusion: The View from Lahore285
Notes293
References and Further Reading313
Index335

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