Easterly on World Poverty
By Arnold Kling
Russ Roberts interviews William Easterly. I highly recommend this podcast. Two points in particular struck me.
1. The “poverty trap” is a bit of an optical illusion. Seeing that in 2007 a lot of countries were in poverty is not the same thing as saying that there is no dynamism. In fact, Easterly would argue that there is a lot of churning at the bottom. If so, then many of today’s “bottom billion” will escape poverty over the next 30 years, while some countries today where people are above abject poverty may suffer adverse changes.
2. The way to channel aid is from individuals to individuals (or small organizations to small organizations), not from government to government. This is a simple concept, but highly counter-intuitive.