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The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It

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  • Collier, Paul

    (Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University. Former Director of the Development Research group at the World Bank)

Abstract

In this elegant and impassioned synthesis from one of the world's leading experts on Africa and poverty, economist Paul Collier writes persuasively that although nearly five billion of the world's people are beginning to climb from desperate poverty and to benefit from globalization's reach to developing countries, there is a "bottom billion" of the world's poor whose countries, largely immune to the forces of global economy, are falling farther behind and are in danger of falling apart, separating permanently and tragically from the rest of the world. Collier identifies and explains the four traps that prevent the homelands of the world's billion poorest people from growing and receiving the benefits of globalization - civil war, the discovery and export of natural resources in otherwise unstable economies, being landlocked and therefore unable to participate in the global economy without great cost, and finally, ineffective governance. As he demonstrates that these billion people are quite likely in danger of being irretrievably left behind, Collier argues that we cannot take a "headless heart" approach to these seemingly intractable problems; rather, that we must harness our despair and our moral outrage at these inequities to a reasoned and thorough understanding of the complex and interconnected problems that the world's poorest people face.

Suggested Citation

  • Collier, Paul, 2008. "The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195374636.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780195374636
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gordon,Robert J., 2004. "Productivity Growth, Inflation, and Unemployment," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521531429, March.
    2. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2001. "Information Technology and the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 1-32, March.
    3. Gordon,Robert J., 2004. "Productivity Growth, Inflation, and Unemployment," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521800082, March.
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