Part 1 What's the Issue? 1. Falling Behind and Falling Apart: The Bottom Billion 3. Part 2 The Traps. 2. The Conflict Trap 3. The Natural Resource Trap 4. PDF | On Feb 1, , Paul Hoebink and others published The bottom billion: why the poorest countries are failing and what can be done about it, by Paul. non-technical book, The Bottom Billion: Why the poorest countries are failing and what can

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In the universally acclaimed and award-winning The Bottom Billion, Paul Collier reveals that fifty failed states-home to the poorest one billion people on. To download abstracts, personal subscriptions or corporate solutions, visit our Web site at or call us at our U.S. office () or . A review of: Paul Collier: The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and .. pdf.

The problem with the country approach is that a sizeable number of the very poor in countries that have high growth rates but high or medium inequality and an average human development index HDI get ignored. A good example is India, which is not part of the bottom billion.

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However, over thirty-four percent of its one billion population lives on less than one dollar a day. I believe that, though growth is a condition for development, the main focus should still be development. For example, Botswana is cited as one of the success stories of Africa but inequality in Botswana is high. Additionally, the number of people below the poverty line in Botswana, despite over two decades of significant growth, is significantly high. Botswana has a life expectancy of less than forty years and its HDI is ranked th while its per capita income is ranked sixtieth.

Development is still far off for Botswana and many other slow-growing African countries, though growth has continued steadily over time. Human capital is transmitted though health and education.

Lack of education and poor health and nutrition create a vicious circle of low productivity and low growth and development. Hence, issues of health and education for the bottom billion are too critical to be left out in a discussion of traps faced by this group.

The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It

Third, and most significant, the book sometimes does not present the whole picture. This is quite worrisome because most people reading this book will assume that Collier is providing a thorough account of the events he depicts; this is not always the case. Another example is the elections in Togo mentioned in chapter eight.

Collier makes the claim that Faure Gnassingbe did not win the election, but there is no substantial evidence to this effect. This is why this opposition leader, despite trying to rally protests post-election as is common in many parts of Africa when the opposition loses the present violence in Kenya provides a classic example , agreed to work to end the violence quite quickly.

Togo, since its independence, has maintained relative peace and, despite its small size and limited resources hence its slow growth , has a medium HDI and medium inequality.

I feel strongly that it is inappropriate for Collier to say that the only decisive contribution Faure a graduate from George Washington University would make is dying. There is little doubt that many people within this country supported his election and, in the two years following his election and , GDP growth has at least increased between two to three percent, despite the negative effect of rising oil prices and volatile commodity prices for nonoil producing small African countries.

Collier talks about the corruption of some governments of poor nations, but he does not rightly trace this extractive culture to its roots, which are found in colonialism.

The recent work by Robinson, Acemoglu, and Simon provides evidence of the extractive institutions set up in Africa by the colonialists. Corrupt leaders are definitely one of the problems faced by the bottom billion.

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However, the growth and persistence of this kind of leadership is linked to the enduring nature of the extractive institutions put in place in Africa via colonialism. It depends on how you look at it. As Christian economists, we are concerned with not only the optimal or efficient use of scarce resources, but also living according to the principles of our faith as expounded in the Bible. This sometimes creates a dilemma for Christian economists in terms of what is the best policy action to prescribe or how to approach a given situation, proposal, or research agenda.

The proper response to issues like those illustrated in The Bottom Billion depends on the knowledge of the economist, whether Christian or not, of the group of people this book is about, and expertise on issues related to economic development. However, the ineffective nature of aid in these countries is linked primarily to its medium of transfer—corrupt governments. If the Christian economist can provide an alternative medium of transfer, which has been proven over time to be effective, then direct aid could be a viable instrument from the point of view of the Christian economist.

When a conflict trap exists, aid can be both beneficial and detrimental.

Large amounts of aid can make a coup more likely, but they can also improve security in post conflict situations and alleviate some of the causes of conflict, such as slow growth and low income, when there is good governance. Collier is more optimistic than Easterly about the potential benefits aid can have in countries that suffer from bad governance traps.

The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It

However, he is also careful to lay out very specific guidelines about how and when to implement aid in such a situation. He further cautions that aid is not a cure-all. Though certainly not pro-war, and condemning the Iraq war throughout the book , Collier does see a role for military intervention, especially when countries are caught in a conflict trap.

Military intervention can be used to restore order, maintain post conflict peace, and prevent coups. In instances where military intervention is necessary, Collier warns that countries should be prepared to maintain a military presence there for a decade.

Moreover, Collier makes a call to Germany, Japan, and other developed countries that have thus far been absent from recent military interventions, so that the United States, Britain, and France do not have to continuously bear the burden. When discussing the need to revise laws and establish charters, Collier recognizes a role for both the developed and developing world.

For instance, Collier places blame on banks in developed countries, as they often hold deposits from the wealthy of the bottom billion, money that has likely been obtained through corruption or bribery. To resolve this issue, Collier recommends creating a system through which banks should report any potentially corrupt deposits.

He also notes the need for stricter regulation of bribes, recognizing that it is not uncommon for resource extraction and construction companies, in particular, to bribe the governments of the bottom billion. On the part of the bottom billion countries, Collier sees the need for five international charters: One wonders whether this is too large an agenda and whether countries and companies would really be willing to sign onto so many international agreements; Collier, however, is optimistic and believes that through Western consumer pressure and government pressure such changes can be implemented.

The fourth and final measure Collier advocates is a change to current trade policy, though he is quick to assert that these changes will do nothing to break countries out of conflict traps.

For the other three traps, trade is important, and as such, developed countries such as the United States must do away with the high level of subsidies it affords its agricultural sector. In some cases, Paul Collier argues, we may have to send in troops to support democratic regimes, as Britain did in Sierra Leone in , to assist the fragile process of economic development.

For people in the bottom billion, life is getting worse, not better. During the Nineties, while globalisation lifted millions out of poverty in China and India, the income of the bottom billion actually fell, by 5 per cent. He has spent decades studying what makes countries win or lose the struggle to escape poverty and the book is peppered with the findings of a lifetime's technical research.

But this is a deliberately populist, polemical volume, aimed at concerned citizens, not fellow number-crunchers. As an economist, Collier's call to arms is founded on hard-headed cost-benefit analysis, not post-colonial guilt or emotional hand-wringing.

On that basis, spending a few million on parachuting in skilled administrators to support the government, bankrolling infrastructure projects or even sending in troops to put down an incipient coup looks like a bargain. His findings overturn some of the most persistent myths about Africa's decades of failure. The continent's history of repeated coups d'etat and civil wars is not caused by a uniquely fractious populace or especially poor politicians, for example, but by poverty.

On average, all low-income countries face a 14 per cent chance of falling into civil war in any five-year period; as Collier notes: 'Young men, who are the recruits for rebel armies, come pretty cheap in an environment of hopeless poverty.The book is made up of twelve chapters divided into five sections. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

For example, Botswana is cited as one of the success stories of Africa but inequality in Botswana is high. Because these countries are the only ones left lagging behind the world growth trend, the author considers those countries to be the central problem in development.

Instead, Collier demonstrates that the answer lies somewhere in between, where aid plays a role, but not the only role, and where military intervention, international charters, and trade policies also have a responsibility. The Bottom Billion by Paul Collier It shows, too, how far western governments and other external actors are from currently giving the sort of help these countries desperately need. In addition, the poorer a country becomes, the more likely it is to succumb to civil war.

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