Michalyn's Reviews > The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics

The Elusive Quest for Growth by William Easterly
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's review
Apr 16, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction, 2008
Recommended for: those interested in international development, poverty
Read in May, 2008

Easterly provides a great overview of the different economic theories that have been posited to be the key to growth and why they have failed. Overall, his point is that creating the right incentives, from education, to private investment, to combating inequality, to diminishing ethnic conflict is the key to growth. At the same time, Easterly points out how much of development is a product of plain good luck.

What I loved most about this book is the highly accessible style and language. This is not just a book for economists. Easterly reminds us just how new in relative terms the field of development economics is and how much we still do not know. He encourages us to continue to try to discover what will make poor countries rich but with sufficient humility and recognition of the complexity of the problems we are trying to solve. There is no one magic bullet and poverty alleviation requires the collaboration of actors on many levels--local, national and international--if we are to succeed.

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