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As it is published by Basic Books rather than CGD, the book isn’t free online. But the Kindle edition is a steal at $14.84. That’s only about a dollar more than a coffee at Starbucks --if you, like most people, order a venti soy hazelnut vanilla cinnamon white mocha with extra white mocha caramel and 13 shots.
Failing that, two CGD essays provide a taste of the argument. The first, Getting Better in Pictures, summarizes the book in words and graphs. The pictures were initially part of the manuscript but, according to my editor, adding a graph to a book dooms it to gathering dust on the back shelves of campus bookstores... The second essay is Solow’s Return: Inventions, Ideas and the Quality of Life. This paper argues that while a model of change driven by the ubiquitous global diffusion of technology is out of fashion with regard to economic growth, it does a much better job with non-income measures of quality of life, including health and education. That’s because there has been a rapid and truly worldwide spread of invented technologies and ideas central to the quality of life from vaccines and oral rehydration therapies to ideas of hygiene and the importance of education.
There will be a launch event here at CGD on March 3rd, and everyone is very welcome. For those on the other side of the Atlantic, I'll present the book at ODI in London on March 10th. So as not to burden the CGD Views from the Center blog with my flogs, I’ll update my own personal blog with information on upcoming book events –they’ll include New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Northwestern University and the University of Oklahoma.
CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.
Zambia and Ghana are the 27th and 28th countries the World Bank has reclassified as middle-income since the year 2000
Doctors perform cataract surgery at the Lusaka Eye Hospital in Zambia. It's inexpensive and it changes people's lives instantly, so it's a good example of how just a little bit more money can make a huge difference to the world's poorest people. Photograph: Per-Anders Pettersson/Getty Images
Remember the poverty trap? Countries stuck in destitution because of weak institutions put in place by colonial overlords, or because of climates that foster disease, or geographies that limit access to global markets, or simply by the fact that poverty is overwhelmingly self-perpetuating. Apparently the trap can be escaped.