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The Bottom Billion

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The latest EconTalk is a conversation with Paul Collier [2] about the ideas in his book, The Bottom Billion [3]. I think he is overly optimistic about military intervention and the productivity of voluntary standards in helping people in desperately poor countries. But his discussion of conflict is very interesting. I never realized how common rebellion and violence is in poor countries. Reading about it got me thinking about the incentives that conflict creates and the incentives that produce conflict. I also never thought about the challenges of land-locked countries, a phenomenon that Collier highlights. William Easterly is scheduled to appear on EconTalk in two weeks. He’ll provide a different perspective.