Review of Poor Economics

Posted by Huibert Fousert on

Poor Economics: "A radical rethinking of the way we fight global poverty". Recently I finished reading Disposable People by Kevin Bales and this was the next one I dove into. There were things I really liked about Poor Economics. It was really eye opening to see just how complicated every problem they approached was. Solutions that are formed in the West without a deeper understanding of the developing world are not useful is one thing I have come away with after reading this book. The authors do a lot of research into commonly held poverty traps and proposed solutions, often times showing how our approach doesn't work or is not effective.

I would say that I was hoping for more encouragement on how to face the issues of poverty in light of the research done by the authors. The book didn't offer much of that, but it may not have been the focus of this book either. There conclusion is summed up with this quote:

"We also have no lever guaranteed to eradicate poverty, but once we accept that, time is on our side. Poverty has been with us for many thousands of years; if we have to wait another 50 or 100 years for the end of poverty, so be it. At least we can stop pretending that there is some solution at hand and instead join hands with millions of well-intentioned people across the world – elected officials and bureaucrats, teachers, and NGO workers, academics and entrepreneurs – in the quest for the many ideas, big and small, that will eventually take us to that world where no one has to live on 99 cents per day."

I would recommend this book to those wanting to better understand the issues facing the developing world.

written by Matt Peterson

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