recentpopularlog in

jerryking : william_easterly   7

Africa's Poverty Trap - WSJ.com
March 23, 2007 | WSJ |By WILLIAM R. EASTERLY.

Economists involved in Africa then and now undervalued free markets, instead coming up with one of the worst ideas ever: state direction by the states least able to direct.

African governments are not the only ones that are bad, but they have ranked low for decades on most international comparisons of corruption, state failure, red tape, lawlessness and dictatorship. Nor is recognizing such bad government "racist" -- this would be an insult to the many Africans who risk their lives to protest their own bad governments. Instead, corrupt and mismanaged governments on the continent reflect the unhappy way in which colonizers artificially created most nations, often combining antagonistic ethnicities. Anyway, the results of statist economics by bad states was a near-zero rise in GDP per capita for Ghana, and the same for the average African nation, over the last 50 years....The cowed IMF and the World Bank never mention the words "free market" in thousands of pages devoted to ending poverty. Even the World Bank's 2005 World Development Report "A Better Investment Climate for Everyone" doesn't mention the forbidden words.World Bank economists are so scared of offending anyone on Africa that they recite tautologies.
William_Easterly  Africa  economists  IMF  World_Bank  foreign_aid  free_markets  failed_states  lawlessness  corruption  poverty  mismanagement  misrule  governance  poor_governance  misgovernance 
august 2012 by jerryking
Surprised by Opportunity - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 14, 2007 | WSJ | By WILLIAM EASTERLY.

Set big goals. Do whatever it takes to reach them. These muscular sentences form the core of commencement addresses, business-advice books, political movements and even the United Nations approach to global poverty. In "Strategic Intuition," a concise and entertaining treatise on human achievement, William Duggan says that such pronouncements are not only banal but wrong.[Duggan is therefore the perfect counterpoint to Jim Collins]

Mr. Duggan, who teaches strategy at Columbia Business School, argues that the commonplace formula has it backward. Instead of setting goals first, he says, it is better to watch for opportunities with large payoffs at low costs and only then set your goals. That is what innovators throughout history have done, as Mr. Duggan shows in a deliriously fast-paced tour of history.
[photo]

Napoleon is Mr. Duggan's canonical example -- his strategic genius was not to storm a pre-fixed position on the battlefield (the traditional approach to military strategy at the time) but to attack any old position that came along where his army was at its strongest and the enemy's at its weakest. Similarly, in the battle for civil rights, Martin Luther King Jr. seized on the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 to shift the NAACP's strategy away from filing lawsuits and toward organizing nonviolent civil disobedience.
audacity  books  book_reviews  civil_disobedience  counterintuitive  flexibility  goal-setting  goals  hard_goals  innovators  intuition  Jim_Collins  kairos  large_payoffs  MLK  NAACP  Napoleon  observations  offensive_tactics  opportunism  personal_payoffs  strategy  William_Duggan  William_Easterly 
november 2011 by jerryking
The Hazards of Throwing Money at the Problem - WSJ.com
JULY 18, 2001

By BRUCE BARTLETT
"The Elusive Quest for Growth" (MIT, 342 pages, $29.95) by the economist William Easterly.....Easterly works at the World Bank. But his real concern is not with his employer or with the International Monetary Fund, although he is critical of both institutions. Rather, he wants to address the whole question of economic growth: Where does it come from? What encourages it? What discourages it? How important is luck? How important is policy? The answers he gives, in certain respects, apply as much to advanced economies like the U.S., Germany and Japan as to the developing nations of Africa and Asia....
Simply giving capital to those without it -- i.e., foreign aid -- is unlikely to stimulate growth. What is really essential is knowledge, and that cannot be transmitted by writing a check. Nor can it be gained just by sending people to school. In fact, critical knowledge, the kind those Bangladeshi textile workers seized upon, is not easily identifiable in the abstract. First entrepreneurs must perceive an opportunity for profit; then a few opportunistic people will see what knowledge is required. And then more will.

Without a proper understanding of such things, a good deal of damage can be done.
World_Bank  foreign_aid  book_reviews  entrepreneurship  IMF  policy  William_Easterly 
november 2011 by jerryking
Think Again: Debt Relief,
November/December 2001 | Foreign Policy Magazine | By William Easterly
William_Easterly  debt_relief  Bono  U2  moral_hazards 
october 2011 by jerryking
False Economy
Published: April 13 2009 04:25 | Financial Times| Review by
William Easterly of False Economy: A Surprising Economic History of the
World By Alan Beattie Riverhead $26.95 336 pages.
book_reviews  economics  William_Easterly  books  economic_history 
april 2009 by jerryking

Copy this bookmark:





to read