« Summers at Brookings | Main | links for 2009-03-14 »

Friday, March 13, 2009

Positive Trends in Economic Development

William Easterly:

When Will There Be Good News?, William Easterly: In the midst of the general doom and gloom, fears about how the crisis will affect poor countries, and fierce criticism of markets, states, and aid agencies, perhaps it’s healthy to step back to the big picture, to recognize there has already been some very real good news. The graph below shows some overall statistics for the developing world:

Easterly

This graph has a mixture of good news that all of the much-criticized triad of markets, states, and aid can take partial credit for. Markets obviously get at least some credit for the reduction in global poverty and increase of global average income. States supply public goods like education, water, and health, and there has been progress on all of these. Aid deserves some credit for successes in health, as already stressed in a previous blog post.

One group that doesn’t deserve much credit is “development experts,” because there is a terrible crisis of confidence in development economics now, where we all freely confess we don’t really know what to advise governments on how to speed up development. ...

Yes, there is a terrible crisis now, not to mention that all of these indicators are still deeply unsatisfactory, so we all keep criticizing and holding accountable the market, state, and aid actors who fall so woefully short. But let none of us forget how much development already happened over the last half-century, which may inspire us with hope that more step-by-step improvements in markets, states, and aid could make even more development possible.

    Posted by on Friday, March 13, 2009 at 08:37 PM in Development, Economics | Permalink  TrackBack (0)  Comments (18)

    TrackBack

    TrackBack URL for this entry:
    https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b33869e201127967b22228a4

    Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Positive Trends in Economic Development:


    Comments

    Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.