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 wm-greece.info~econpco/research/pdfs/wm-greece.info).
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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 wm-greece.info or call us at our U.S. office () or . A review of: Paul Collier: The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and .. wm-greece.info pdf.
He stresses that these four traps condemn these countries to their current status and, if left unchecked, define their future. Collier argues, based on his research, that once a country has had one civil war, they are likely to have more.
In addition, the poorer a country becomes, the more likely it is to succumb to civil war. This trap is paradoxical to non-economists who are unaware of the Dutch disease and the difficulty of managing volatile resource revenue. He then outlines eight strategies which these landlocked countries can use to improve their chances of growth.
In contrast, turnarounds are more likely to be launched and succeed in countries having a larger population, and a higher proportion of that population with a secondary education.
In the third section of the book, Collier shares his views on globalization and how globalization affects the bottom billion. Collier suggests that globalization will not help the countries in this group because they have already been left behind by other developing countries.
One of his controversial suggestions is giving these countries protection against competition from Asia. In the fourth section chapters seven through ten , the different possible instruments to help the bottom billion break free from the four traps are discussed. In chapter seven, Collier argues that aid in most forms is ineffective and is only a small part of the solution.
He provides arguments in support of a moderate shift from direct foreign aid to more technical assistance. The case for military intervention, despite controversy surrounding the use of this instrument, is put forward in chapter eight. Chapter nine is a discussion on laws and charters and how these can work as instruments.
Collier emphasizes the need to establish a set of international standards for different important issues and scenarios facing the bottom billion, like natural resource extraction, democracy, budget transparency, investment, and post conflict recovery. Trade policy as an instrument is discussed in chapter ten. Collier highlights why trade openness is needed by the bottom billion. He emphasizes the flaws in the view that trade in general is bad for this group.
In the final section, chapter eleven, Collier puts forth suggestions on what needs to happen if the plight of the bottom billion is going to change and who should make it happen. One of the strengths of the book is its focus on the least developed countries as over against the developing countries in general. However, there are some shortcomings. First, the focus on poor countries instead of on the very poor in any developing country could be an issue.
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.
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.
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.
Nevertheless, Collier is optimistic that his suggestions will do the job and that the will to enact them exists. 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. 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: a charter on natural resource revenues, a charter for democracy, a charter for post conflict situations, a charter for budget transparency, and a charter for investment.
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. Many developed countries must also end their practice of tariff escalation.