Book Update: Available for Order
By Arnold Kling
Finally, From Poverty to Prosperity is available for order at Amazon. It will be in stock there in a few days.
I should warn you that it is an intellectually heavy book. It is not the sort of thing that can be digested on a single plane ride. It also does not offer neat answers wrapped and tied up with a bow.
For example, we present conflicting views on the relative importance of formal institutions vs. culture as determinants of the standard of living. We quote Nobel Laureate Edmund Phelps, who says,
differences across countries with respect to certain well-defined institutions were not as important as the prevailing differences in economic culture
Yet we also report and emphasize the differences in standard of living between North and South Korea, which presumably are not caused primarily by cultural differences.
Overall, compared with what you learn in introductory economics, the book puts much more emphasis on entrepreneurs and innovation. It also puts much more emphasis on both institutions and culture.