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448 pages, Paperback
First published March 14, 2006
"Let us keep looking for confirmation of the two main predictions of the poverty trap legend: (1) that growth of the poorest countries is lower than other countries, and (2) that per capita growth of the poorest countries is zero or negative. The poorest did have lower growth rates than the others in an earlier period, 150-1975. However, this was not a poverty trap, as average growth of the poorest during 1950-1975 was still a very healthy 1.9 percent per year (roughly the same as the long-run growth rate of the American economy, for example)."
"Was this because the poor countries were stuck in a poverty trap? Well, first of all, the data do not fit our definition of a poverty trap---per capita growth of the poorest countries was not zero."
"While poor countries did worse, it's also true that the twenty-four countries with bad governments in 1984 had significantly lower growth from 1985 to the present… When we control for both initial poverty and for bad government, it is bad government that explains the slower growth."
"Statistically, spending a lot of time under an IMF program is associated with a higher risk of state collapse."
"It is heartbreaking that global society has evolved a highly efficient way to get entertainment to rich adults and children, while it can't get twelve-cent medicine to dying poor children."
"Academic seminars can be intellectually violent, but, fortunately, professors don't pack semiautomatic weapons."
"For example, the red states in the United States, which had a slight majority in the 2004 election, might want to make sure that the American government from now on consisted of god-fearing gun owners rather than married gay couples having abortions."