Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Bottom Billion, by Paul Collier

The full title is “The Bottom Billion Why The Poorest Countries Are Failing And What Can Be Done About It.” This is a very interesting book about the poorest people on earth and what the Western World can do for them. It does not give practical advice for individuals, but it does give practical things governments and aid agencies that give out aid can do.

What I like about Paul Collier’s book is that he looks at various things that have been done to help poor people and poor countries and then tries to analyses these things to see if they actually work or not. I like that he advocates practical things that seem to work. He talks about some standard solutions that do not work and solutions that do work.

I think that this is a very important book on world poverty. It is filled with statistics and common sense. He tries to come up with workable practical solutions. What I did not like about Jeffery Sach’s book on the End of Poverty, is that he comes up with grand schemes to help the poor. We have had grand schemes before, and they have not worked.

For book on Amazon see For book review at Oxford Press, see and at Financial Times see

He is also on, a wonderful site of speakers on all sorts of ideas. He is at

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