Sunday, April 22, 2007

Book: The Elusive Quest for Growth

I might be a little behind as this book was published in 2001 but I found it while searching for his more recent work and found it extremely insightful. It is macro-level, economist view but the principles have applications at all levels.

Easterly's predominant theorem is that "people respond to incentives", whether those people are the poor, government officials in a poor country or rich donors in developed countries. I think the strength of the idea of private enterprise, be it microfranchising or other ventures, at the bottom of the pyramid is built upon the idea of incentives, namely profit incentives.

The other element of Easterly's work that really stuck out to me was the need to say no to corruption and poor government by voting with our aid dollars. When considering where to set up shop I think we all need to consider the International Country Risk Guide and reward those countries that are making policy and judicial decisions that show that the leaders are dedicated to the plight of the poor and the growth of the entire country and not just their own pocketbook.

And of course his emphasis on technology that improves productivity is particularly in line with the kind of businesses I propose on this blog. I would add an emphasis on technology that is tailored to the conditions of the poor.

Good read, I'll report on his latest book when my hold comes through from the library.

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