Economists Propose Proven Strategies for Eradicating Poverty: News Releases: The Independent Institute

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News Release
November 14, 2007

Economists Propose Proven Strategies for Eradicating Poverty

"For the sake of many millions of people trapped in poverty, I wish politicians of all ideological persuasions would pay careful attention to the arguments expounded by this remarkable book."
Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico; Director, Yale Center for the Study of Globalization

OAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 14, 2007—Most of the world suffers from abject poverty. Half of the world’s people live on two dollars or less per day and roughly 600 million live on no more than one dollar per day. Why do some nations get richer while others remain poor? What prevents development in some resource-rich countries while others thrive on very little? And why do robust economies sometimes collapse?

Proposals to reduce poverty typically involve expanded restrictions on individuals’ freedom to innovate, trade, and build enterprises that improve their lives. Questioning this orthodoxy and comprehensively addressing the disparities between rich and poor countries, Independent Institute Research Fellow Benjamin Powell argues in Making Poor Nations Rich: Entrepreneurship and the Process of Economic Development (November 2007 / Stanford University Press / $29.95) that we must instead eliminate the governmental shackles that ruin prospects for economic growth.

With a foreword by UCLA economics professor, Deepak Lal, Making Poor Nations Rich brings together the work of fifteen economists. Randall Holcombe, Mancur Olson, and William Baumol reveal the failures of standard development views. Robert Lawson demonstrates that societies with broad private property rights, the rule of law, and free markets consistently outperform those with less economic freedom.

George Ayittey explains the predatory nature of central planning and examines how resulting “vampire states” have caused economic collapse and civil war in post-independence Africa. Alvaro Vargas Llosa analyzes corporatism and mercantilism in resource-rich Latin America. And Peter Boettke shows that rampant government corruption in Romania strangles innovation and keeps people impoverished. Conversely, increased foreign trade in China and India, decreased taxes and state spending in Ireland, and a greater respect for the rule of law in Botswana have produced undeniable results in the fight against poverty.

Compelling and authoritative, Making Poor Nations Rich demonstrates the power of market-based enterprise to emancipate the world’s poor from the policies that are impoverishing them.

Praise for Making Poor Nations Rich

“. . . Benjamin Powell has produced the most wide-ranging, substantive anthology available on the linkage between entrepreneurs and development.”
Steve H. Hanke, Professor of Applied Economics, Johns Hopkins University

“This book gives readers a deeper understanding of the true forces of economic growth, and how economic policies and institutions can work to inhibit them or allow them to flourish.”
Arnold C. Harberger, Distinguished Professor of Economics, UCLA

“The lessons of Making Poor Nations Rich are clear. Citizens, reformers, policymakers, new-nation builders, and those that direct stalled societies, will find much to reflect upon in this well-structured, thoughtful, and hard-hitting book.”
Colin M. MacLachlan, John Christie Barr Distinguished Professor of History, Tulane University

Making Poor Nations Rich: Entrepreneurship and the Process of Economic Development
Edited by Benjamin Powell
Published by Stanford University Press
November 2007 | Hardcover | 440 pages | $29.95 | ISBN 978-0-8047-5732-4

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