Self Help

The Tyranny of Experts - William Easterly

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Matheus Puppe

· 75 min read



Here is a summary of the key points from the introduction of The Tyranny of Experts:

  • The book uses a hypothetical story of World Bank-backed violence against farmers in Ohio to highlight how violations of the rights of poor people in developing countries are ignored or justified. Basic rights like property, self-determination, and physical security are not respected.

  • In contrast, similar abuses would not be tolerated in wealthy Western nations due to stronger protections for individual rights and freedoms. The World Bank and other development organizations do not adequately articulate a vision of liberty, freedom, equality and rights for poor countries.

  • The prevailing approach to development is based on a “technocratic illusion” that poverty is purely a technical problem solved through techniques like fertilizers or vaccines. This ignores the root cause of poverty - unchecked state power against citizens without rights.

  • By focusing on technical solutions, development experts unintentionally strengthen authoritarian states and justify increased state control in the name of implementing those solutions. This favors an “authoritarian development” model over one based on individual rights and freedoms.

  • Any approach to development implicitly respects rights or violates them - there is no neutral stance. The book aims to debate this issue that the author argues was never properly addressed between different schools of thought on development.

Here is a summary of the key ideas around “logical evidence-based policies” according to the passage:

  • Authoritarian or autocratic development, where experts dictate solutions, is problematic and has historically failed to adequately address the root causes of poverty. Individual rights and freedom are needed.

  • The true cause of poverty is a lack of political and economic rights/freedom, not simply a lack of technical expertise or solutions. Autocracies silence alternative voices and solutions.

  • In the past, development experts unwittingly favored autocratic approaches due to beliefs in “benevolent autocrats” and a “blank slate” view of history. But new research emphasizes non-national factors, history, and spontaneous solutions that challenge these views.

  • While political motivations in the past directed aid in ways that supported autocracies, new economic and historical research provides an evidence base to finally debate authoritarian vs free development approaches and recognize the importance of individual rights and initiative.

  • Evidence now supports that respecting individual rights and local initiatives leads to new trades, technologies, and services, not just centralized planning by experts or autocrats. A logical, evidence-based policy approach favors free development.

So in summary, it argues “logical evidence-based policies” means policies grounded in new empirical evidence that champions individual freedom, rights and spontaneous solutions over authoritarian rule and centralized dictation by experts. History and evidence now allow a proper debate between these approaches.

The passage discusses several common misunderstandings that tend to suppress dissenting views on development:

  1. It’s not just about the debate between free markets vs state intervention. Both sides of that debate still allow the state significant power over individuals without restraints.

  2. Focusing too much on the distinction between economic and political freedom overlooks that they are interrelated - violations of one often involve violations of the other.

  3. labeling those with dissenting views as “ideologues” is a slippery slope that can be used to dismiss valid perspectives.

  4. Claiming “the truth lies somewhere in the middle” or that there is “no real difference” between views is another way to dismiss alternatives without consideration.

  5. The book is clarifying its agenda is not: debating domestic politics in rich countries, implying guilt by association, proposing new rights, providing philanthropic recommendations, or exposing academics. Rather, it aims to have a debate about individual rights and development that has been lacking.

In summary, the passage argues there are misconceptions that tend to suppress dissenting perspectives in development debates, and it seeks to clarify the agenda and scope of the book to facilitate an open discussion on these issues.

  • Friedrich Hayek and Gunnar Myrdal received the Nobel Prize in Economics on the same day in 1974, after long careers having been born only 6 months apart in Western Europe in the late 19th century.

  • Hayek advocated for individual rights and a free society as both an end in themselves and as the means by which societies escape poverty and prosper. He was appalled by Fascism and Communism’s disregard for individual rights and lives.

  • Myrdal did not feature an extensive role for individual rights in his writings on development. He argued governments needed to achieve development through regulations, compulsion and forcing people’s behavior, even if it required violating rights.

  • Hayek extensively criticized views like Myrdal’s and defended individual rights, but Myrdal never addressed Hayek’s argument. Myrdal claimed experts unanimously endorsed his approach.

  • There was never a public debate between their opposing views on development and individual rights. Hayek’s views were excluded from development discourse by declaring opposing views not legitimate development expertise.

  • Hayek’s life experiences in Vienna under the rise of Nazis may have influenced his passion for defending individual rights against authoritarianstate power. He escaped to a position in London in 1936 as the intellectual climate in Vienna deteriorated.

  • In 1933, 34-year-old economist Friedrich Hayek began working at the London School of Economics on March 1st. A month prior, Hitler had assumed power in Germany.

  • The day before Hayek started, Hitler used the Reichstag fire as a pretext to issue a decree severely restricting civil liberties like freedom of expression and press in Germany.

  • Hayek was part of a wave of Central and Eastern European refugees fleeing totalitarianism in places like Germany and Austria. He joined others like Hannah Arendt, Isaiah Berlin, and Karl Popper in arguing that totalitarian regimes on both the far left and right had much in common through their use of coercion and suppression of individual liberties.

  • Hayek recognized the similarities between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia from the start. He noted their shared use of “universal compulsion” and intolerance of intellectual freedom.

  • The rise of Austrian Nazis deeply impacted intellectual life in Vienna, where Hayek had studied. He became convinced the city had no future and became a British citizen in 1938.

  • Hayek grew anxious about friends and colleagues under Nazi rule, particularly his mentor Ludwig von Mises who had narrowly escaped Vienna for Switzerland, though Switzerland would not remain safe either.

  • The debate is between the “Blank Slate” view of development versus learning from history.

  • The Blank Slate view sees poor societies as infinitely malleable and ignores their unique histories. It treats all poor countries the same and believes technical solutions can work everywhere.

  • Gunnar Myrdal exemplified this view with his massive Asian Drama study that failed to appreciate each country’s particular context.

  • Hayek criticized this Blank Slate thinking, arguing one must learn why some societies became rich and draw on the positive role of individual freedom and evolution, not start from scratch.

  • The Blank Slate opened the door to reject learning from the West’s history of development and individual rights. It also fostered one-size-fits-all technical solutions.

  • Myrdal embraced a willingness to discard all traditions and design new institutions from scratch based on pure reason, without learning from history - exemplifying the technocratic Blank Slate approach.

  • This required more autocratic coercion to impose new designs versus allowing evolution, as democratic institutions allowed the West to reject Blank Slate proposals.

This section presents a debate between Gunnar Myrdal and Friedrich Hayek on whether national development should prioritize the well-being of nations or individuals.

Hayek argued that exclusively emphasizing nations could endanger individual rights and ethnic minorities. Nationalism could promote intolerance and manipulate hatred towards outsiders. A national development goal does not represent the interests of all individuals.

Myrdal viewed individuals as a means to serve national ends. He believed national development goals enforced by leaders were necessary for development to occur.

The debate also addressed whether development should arise through conscious design by leaders/experts, as Myrdal believed, or spontaneous solutions emerging from a complex adaptive system, as Hayek believed. Hayek argued for spontaneous order emerging from uncontrolled individual actions, as seen in markets and evolution.

Myrdal and Hayek occupied opposite sides of these debates on prioritizing nations vs individuals and conscious design vs spontaneous solutions - debates that were not directly had during their time.

  • Hayek argues against the “collective and ‘conscious’ direction of all social forces to deliberately chosen goals” as advocated by some like Gunnar Myrdal. Conscious design by experts fails because the experts do not have sufficient knowledge of complex societies.

  • Markets allow for spontaneous solutions through competition, allowing individuals with potential solutions to offer them, and consumers to choose. Even when people don’t know what they want, competition produces solutions.

  • Those advocating conscious direction believed they knew better than individuals and could intelligently direct the whole society. But individualism and spontaneity are more humble approaches.

  • Myrdal advocated for state planning and intervention, seeing people as passive objects. But Hayek saw a need for limited government functions and political competition to hold politicians accountable.

  • The debate should not be framed as simply markets vs state, as autocratic pro-market regimes still violate individual rights and freedoms. Experts designing policy still pose a knowledge problem and risk of consolidated power.

  • Hayek’s 1945 article outlined the “knowledge problem” - that experts cannot possibly possess enough knowledge to consciously direct a complex society. This contradicted Myrdal’s faith in experts and the potential of social science.

  • Friedrich Hayek argued that the knowledge needed for investment, production and consumption decisions is often localized, context-specific and personally idiosyncratic. Markets and competition allow individuals to utilize their own particular knowledge in a way centralized planning cannot.

  • Tacit knowledge, which comes from experience and is difficult to articulate, also plays an important role. A spontaneous order of free individuals creates incentives for people to contribute their localized or tacit knowledge through markets.

  • Gunnar Myrdal claimed unanimous support for centralized planning and technocratic approaches to development among experts. But Hayek argued dissent is necessary for progress in ideas and we cannot know in advance which approaches will work best.

  • Myrdal privately admitted planning was likely to fail in weak states with limited capacity, but argued there was no alternative for political reasons. This revealed a double standard that denied rights-based approaches for developing countries.

  • The author argues inhibiting debate prevents progress on development ideas, and political motives may have contributed to the lack of consideration of Hayek’s spontaneous order perspective in development thinking and policy.

  • The birth of modern economic development is often traced to January 20, 1949, when President Truman announced an initiative to provide foreign aid to poor countries in his inaugural address. However, the ideas took shape earlier.

  • Some key moments include Woodrow Wilson noting in 1919 that humanity for the first time possessed the knowledge and skill to relieve global suffering. This shows development ideas emerged before 1949.

  • Between 1919-1949, there was a debate between authoritarian and liberal approaches to development. Authoritarian development rejected individual rights and free choice in favor of technocratic solutions and state control. Liberal development respected individual rights and free markets.

  • Authoritarian development appealed to colonial powers like the UK as it justified their role as “benevolent autocrats” over colonies. It also appealed to anticolonial leaders who wanted to be autocrats in their own countries.

  • The book examines case studies in China, West Africa, and Colombia to understand why and how authoritarian development defeated liberal development by 1949, despite weaker logic and evidence. Racist Western attitudes, self-interest in Great Powers, and desires of leaders in developing nations all contributed to the victory of authoritarian ideas.

  • China in particular saw debates between economists like Condliffe, who favored individual rights, and Fong, who supported authoritarian technocratic solutions without rights. The racist context made rights-based approaches unattractive.

  • Three key decisions at the 1919 Versailles conference impacted development ideas in China and elsewhere: creating League of Nations mandates, rejecting racial equality, and transferring control of China’s Shantung province from Germany to Japan.

  • The mandate system transformed former German colonies into territories administered by colonial powers “for the benefit” of local people, though in practice mandates functioned like new colonies. This established the idea of technocratic development focused on progress rather than self-determination.

  • Rejecting a Japanese proposal for racial equality showed the West still held racist views of non-whites during development’s formative years. Attitudes portrayed Africans and Asians as childlike or animal-like.

  • Transferring the economically important Shantung province from Germany to imperial Japan, rather than returning it to China, provoked Chinese nationalist protests on May 4, 1919. This decision undermined Woodrow Wilson’s principle of national self-determination and strengthened Japan’s imperial ambitions in China.

  • Americans living in China enjoyed special privileges under the system of extraterritoriality, where they were not subject to Chinese law. However, the US banned Chinese immigration and excluded Chinese people from living in America, creating a double standard.

  • When news of the unfavorable Shantung decision at the 1919 Versailles peace conference reached China, it sparked nationalist protests across the country. This May 4th Movement helped the nationalist party Guomindang gain support under Sun Yat-sen.

  • In response, Sun Yat-sen proposed one of the earliest development plans, calling for industrialization and cooperation under a centralized “socialist” government led by him. This echoed debates around authoritarian vs democratic development.

  • In 1925, American experts organized by the Rockefeller Foundation discussed improving US-China relations through “scientific” dialogues to understand each others’ interests, similar to Wilson’s approach. They intersected with YMCA groups seeking reduced racism toward Asians. Together they planned an international conference on Pacific relations.

So in summary, tensions arose from unequal treatment of Chinese in China/America, leading to Chinese nationalist sentiment and Sun Yat-sen’s authoritarian development vision, which later intersected with American experts’ efforts to improve relations through technocratic, interest-based dialogues.

  • The YMCA and Yale Club established the Institute of Pacific Relations (IPR) in 1925 to hold conferences on issues in the Pacific region. The IPR brought together humanitarian and foreign policy interests.

  • At the first conference in 1925 in Honolulu, New Zealand economist John Bell Condliffe impressed others with his expertise on Asian economics. He was hired as the IPR’s first research secretary.

  • In 1927, Condliffe traveled to China to identify research projects. He struggled to find qualified Chinese researchers who would produce projects aligned with IPR interests.

  • Condliffe met with Chiang Kai-Shek, who had recently betrayed the Communist party and massacred labor unions. Chiang was consolidating authoritarian rule through corruption and intimidation.

  • Condliffe accepted a neutral, technical proposal on industrialization from Chinese economists H.D. Fong and Franklin Ho. Fong had studied in the US and was well-positioned to obtain IPR funding through his American connections. This reflected the emerging technocratic approach to development.

  • H.D. Fong was a Chinese economist who studied for his PhD in the US at Yale in the early 20th century, encouraged by his mentor Franklin Ho to pursue graduate education.

  • There is no evidence the Oriental Exclusion Act of the US affected Fong, and he did not mention it in his later memoirs. He only obliquely referred to difficulties Chinese students had dating due to “racial differences.”

  • After getting his PhD, Fong returned to China and joined Ho at Nankai University. They maintained Western customs and were intermediaries between the IPR and Chinese academia.

  • However, Fong did not embrace liberal Western ideas. He advocated for “rationalization” and conscious direction of development rather than spontaneous solutions. This aligned with the authoritarian views of Chiang Kai-shek.

  • Fong’s views converged with Sun Yat-sen’s early advocacy for centralized economic planning. This led to government appointments for Fong and Ho to advise Chiang’s development plans based on models from Germany and the Soviet Union.

  • The Rockefeller Foundation, a key funder of IPR, saw China as a “blank slate” to experiment with ideas of conscious direction and planning rather than spontaneous evolution. This aligned with Fong’s views.

  • Historian R.H. Tawney, commissioned by IPR, also took a “blank slate” view of China that ignored its history when advising on development plans.

  • The Rockefeller Foundation’s Raymond Fosdick produced a report on China in the 1920s that portrayed China simplistically, focusing on development needs but largely ignoring Chinese history and culture.

  • At early conferences, the International Political Science Association (IPR) struggled with how to address issues of Chinese exclusion policies in the US and Western powers’ extraterritorial privileges in China.

  • By 1929, the IPR conference successfully shifted the focus to technical development ideas and strategies for China. The politically sensitive issues of Chinese migration and extraterritoriality disappeared from discussions.

  • Developing China was framed as an apolitical, technical issue that neutral experts and organizations like the League of Nations could help with. This distracted from criticisms of Western policies and portrayed development as the solution to issues like extraterritoriality.

  • However, Japan’s invasion of Manchuria in 1931 undermined ideas that the League could promote development free of “selfish aggression” by Western powers. Overall, the text argues that development ideas were used to sidestep discussions of political and rights issues concerning China.

  • The Institute of Pacific Relations (IPR) had to withdraw from China in 1937 after the Japanese invasion, but returned in 1942 when the US allied with China against Japan in WWII.

  • The IPR promoted an image of “Free China” led by Chiang Kai-shek to get US support. However, in reality Chiang’s government was corrupt and inept, unable to build a nation. US aid was siphoned away rather than helping Chinese soldiers.

  • After WWII, some blamed the IPR for “losing China” to communists, but in reality the IPR had just promoted an image rather than the reality of China.

  • One IPR commissioner, John Bell Condliffe, was critical of the authoritarian development model embraced by others like Fong. He believed in individual rights and free flow of trade/ideas rather than closed nationalist development.

  • However, voices like Condliffe’s were sidelined as political interests converged around promoting Chiang’s regime for strategic reasons during WWII, even if it suppressed individuals rights and democratic development. The “technocratic” approach focusing on state-led development won out over more open alternatives.

  • The passage discusses China’s experience with development in the early 20th century, focusing on debates between proponents of authoritarian vs free development approaches.

  • H.D. Fong, a Chinese economist trained in the US, advocated for technocratic/authoritarian development planning. He viewed individual rights as an impediment to effective centralized planning.

  • Yuan-li Wu criticized Fong and Chiang Kai-shek’s authoritarian development plans, seeing them as undermining political democracy and individual initiative. However, his views gained little traction.

  • Fong’s technocratic approach triumphed in shaping Nationalist China’s development policies in the 1930s-40s, with support from foreign advisors like the Rockefeller Foundation.

  • However, authoritarian development exacerbated political and economic problems, paving the way for Communist victory. Fong fled China in 1948 to take a UN job in Thailand.

  • The passage examines how debates in China in the pre-1949 period helped shape broader discussions around development approaches, particularly regarding the tension between individual rights and state-led planning. It provides historical context for concepts still debated today.

  • Racist attitudes among British officials and observers towards colonial subjects persisted even during WWII. One official feared openly endorsing racial equality could raise “embarrassing situations”.

  • There were fears of a global “race war” led by Japan against white colonial rule. Racial tensions were exacerbated by white population losses after WWI.

  • The British realized racism was becoming a political liability for colonial rule during WWII. Their failure to endorse Japan’s racial equality proposal after WWI was now embarrassing.

  • Lord Hailey attempted to reframe colonialism as a technocratic, development-focused project rather than based on racial superiority. This was intended to remove racism as a liability.

  • The Colonial Office took steps to suppress openly racist language, banning words like “nigger” and “coolie”. However, many saw this as merely a public relations effort rather than truly changing underlying racist attitudes.

  • Development ideas shaping post-colonial Africa took form in the West during a time when attitudes towards Africans were still racist, seeing them as passive objects rather than dignified rights-holders. This shaped the authoritarian nature of subsequent development models.

Here is a summary of the key points about W. Arthur Lewis:

  • W. Arthur Lewis was an economist from St. Lucia who later became the first black winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics.

  • In 1941, when he was still young, Lewis was hired as an economic adviser for the UK Colonial Office. This was a notable milestone as the first black person in such a role.

  • The hiring of Lewis came after pressure from anti-racist groups to make the Colonial Service more inclusive of non-white officials. The Colonial Office responded by dropping mentions of race from job postings and considering non-white candidates case-by-case.

  • While Lewis had little influence on colonial policy during WWII due to his age and race, his hiring was an important gesture toward greater racial inclusion in the Colonial Service.

  • Lewis went on to become a pioneering figure in development economics and one of the founding fathers of the field. He received the Nobel Prize in recognition of his influential work.

So in summary, the hiring of W. Arthur Lewis represented an early step toward dismantling overt racism in the UK Colonial Service, even if the larger colonial system of rule remained discriminatory. Lewis later achieved prominence as one of the most important 20th century economists.

  • After major defeats by Japan in Hong Kong, Malaya, and Singapore, the British feared losing further prestige and control over their colonial subjects in Asia. Reports of Japanese atrocities against British civilians fueled fears of a “race war.”

  • The British prioritized evacuating white civilians over loyal Asian civilians, damaging perceptions of British superiority. Local Asian populations also collaborated with Japanese invaders.

  • Americans were critical of the British emphasis on empire over the war effort. Influential figures like Walter Lippmann said the Allies risked being seen as fighting to preserve white rule in Asia.

  • Lord Hailey promoted a development-focused justification of empire to counter American criticism. He found an unexpected ally in Gunnar Myrdal, who noted the “racial angle” of the war inflamed American racial tensions.

  • Racial tensions were high in America during the war, with issues like discrimination in the military. Lord Hailey used Myrdal’s analysis of America’s own “Negro problem” to leverage against American critics of the British Empire.

  • Lord Hailey advocated for a unified progressive agenda between Britain and the U.S. on raising living standards for non-white peoples through state action, rather than mutual accusations over denying rights to non-whites.

  • This approach aimed to reformulate colonial policies in a more positive light and align them with Roosevelt’s New Deal policies. It promoted the idea of the state leading development of “backward areas/races.”

  • Hailey’s approach succeeded in gaining U.S. support for preserving the British Empire during WWII and established the idea of authoritarian-led development, prioritizing economic progress over political rights for non-whites.

  • This set the stage for technocratic, state-led development to be codified in the UN Charter and early UN development reports, without mention of independence for colonies. It established a model of Great Powers pursuing the “development” of dependent peoples through colonial administration.

  • Frankel critiqued a 1951 UN report that emphasized mobilizing investment for African development without recognizing Africans’ lack of rights as the real problem.

  • Frankel believed in spontaneous, individual-led solutions rather than centralized planning. He distrusted giving authoritarian leaders more power over development.

  • Arthur Lewis was a lead author of the UN report and advocated state-led development through investment. He became an advisor to Ghana’s leader Kwame Nkrumah.

  • Nkrumah followed Lewis’ advice to tax cocoa farmers to increase investment. But this exacerbated political conflicts as cocoa farmers opposed Nkrumah.

  • Nkrumah increasingly repressed opposition through emergency powers and detention without trial. This disturbed Lewis’ democratic principles.

  • The final break came when Nkrumah insisted on politically distributing an anti-pest campaign rather than using expertise. Lewis resigned but did not publicly criticize Nkrumah due to his pro-African independence stance.

  • Nkrumah became increasingly dictatorial and damaged Ghana’s economy before being ousted in a 1966 coup. Lewis was proven right about the dangers of authoritarian development policies.

  • In 1948, World Bank President John McCloy visited Colombia and suggested sending a comprehensive survey mission to assess development needs. Colombia’s President Ospina accepted eagerly.

  • In 1949, the World Bank sent a 14-person mission led by economist Lauchlin Currie to study development in Colombia. They spent 4 months traveling the country.

  • In 1950, the mission published a 950-page report identifying major development challenges like poverty, poor health, illiteracy, and low productivity. It advocated for a comprehensive, multi-sector approach to development using modern techniques.

  • The report echoed formulations from the New Deal era about alleviating poverty and improving living standards. It emphasized large-scale national planning over individual rights.

  • The Colombian government welcomed the report and quickly began implementing its recommendations. Currie stayed on as an adviser to help with planning efforts into the 1950s.

  • This World Bank mission to Colombia was a pivotal early example of how the Bank shifted its focus from post-war reconstruction in Europe to long-term development planning in the global south. It set patterns for future comprehensive, technocratic development models.

  • Juan Jose Currie actually settled in Colombia and spent the rest of his life working as a development expert for the Colombian government. However, the government’s receptiveness to expert recommendations was not as apparent as it seemed.

  • On April 9, 1948, liberal leader Jorge Gaitán was assassinated in Bogota, sparking violent riots known as the Bogotazo. This led to a period of violent political conflict called La Violencia from 1948-1956 that killed hundreds of thousands.

  • The World Bank report framed Colombia’s situation in technocratic, depoliticized terms, but behind the scenes the violence and political instability were well known. The conservative government welcomed the report as it legitimized their rule.

  • The Cold War context is important - the US prioritized anti-communist alliances over democratic values. They supported authoritarian regimes like Colombia’s to secure allies, while development initiatives appealed to humanitarians focused on poverty. So World Bank reports combined technocratic development goals with geopolitical objectives.

  • The reality in Colombia was much more political than depicted in the World Bank report. Experts were used by the government to justify actions, and violence continued despite development recommendations. So the technocratic framing obscured deeper issues fueling instability.

  • Lauchlin Currie visited China in 1941-1942 to evaluate America’s development program there, and saw opportunities for development in both China and later Colombia.

  • Colombia had hosted previous US development missions in the 1920s-1930s to help build infrastructure like the central bank. There was also a 1940 development plan and 1950 planning council before the World Bank mission.

  • Under FDR, the Good Neighbor Policy and Inter-American Development Commission promoted development in Latin America from the late 1930s to counter Nazi influence and attract capital.

  • Harry Dexter White proposed an Inter-American Bank in 1940 and later the World Bank at Bretton Woods in 1944 to foster postwar economic cooperation.

  • The World Bank’s “nonpolitical clause” was originally intended to allow support for the Soviet Union as a wartime ally, reflecting a technocratic view of separating politics and development solutions. White supported this clause and postwar US-Soviet cooperation.

  • There was thus a history of expert engagement and development planning in these regions prior to the specific World Bank missions, as part of broader political goals around alliance-building and economic influence during World War II and the Cold War.

  • Harry Dexter White helped establish the ideological foundations for the World Bank and its technocratic approach to development. His 1941 draft proposed expansive state controls over the economy chosen solely based on achieving economic objectives, with little regard for individual rights.

  • Lauchlin Currie, White’s friend and former classmate, continued promoting these technocratic views as Roosevelt’s chief economist and helped shape the initial direction of the World Bank.

  • The World Bank’s non-political article has been cited over the years to justify overlooking authoritarian abuses and pursuing political goals, like supporting Soviet bloc countries initially and opposing them later.

  • Colombia was arbitrarily classified as “underdeveloped” and part of the Third World for political rather than economic reasons, to define the regions where the US wanted to curb Soviet influence.

  • Many Colombian intellectuals like Echavarría Olózaga criticized this top-down development planning approach and preferred imitating free market success stories, but their views were ignored. The technocratic development consensus favored by the World Bank and political interests prevailed over debate.

  • Bill Gates celebrated recent progress in reducing child mortality in Ethiopia in a 2013 WSJ article, citing Ethiopia’s goal-based approach inspired by UN Millennium Development Goals.

  • Ethiopia set a goal of reducing child mortality by two-thirds from 1990 levels. It launched a community health program in 2004 that used data to improve outcomes. Child mortality fell sharply after that.

  • Tony Blair’s organization also praised Ethiopia’s results and strong leadership in implementing health plans to reduce child mortality rates 23% from 2005-2010, putting it on track to meet the MDG.

  • However, the author argues Gates and Blair based their conclusions on very little data - just 5 years of results in one country. Measurement errors also make child mortality rates imprecise over short periods.

  • UN data estimated a smaller 13% reduction from 2005-2010, which means Ethiopia may fail to meet its MDG goal. Imprecise measurement undermines claims of a rigorously goal-driven approach.

  • Longer periods are needed to filter out measurement errors and more confidently assess what reduces child mortality and compare government performances. But Gates only looked at a short period in one country.

Here is a summary of the key points from the two chapters:

  • Chapter 6 explores the long struggle for individual rights in Europe from the 12th century onwards. It began with the conflict between the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and the independent free cities of Northern Italy, most notably Milan. The free cities formed the Lombard League and defeated Barbarossa at the Battle of Legnano in 1176, securing their independence.

  • The emergence of these free cities was an important development as it saw the rise of individual freedom, citizens’ rights, and more democratic forms of governance compared to absolute monarchies. Over time, free cities grew more prosperous as population and economic activity outpaced cities under autocratic rule.

  • While the Italian North developed free cities and prosperity, the South remained under absolute monarchs for centuries longer, staying poorer. Differences persist to this day, linked to this differential history of freedom versus oppression.

  • Chapter 7 will explore how the slave trade and related oppression in both the New World and Africa impacted development on both sides of the Atlantic, with long-lasting consequences. Chapter 8 then looks more positively at individual rights and development in the northern part of the New World.

In summary, the chapters examine the long-term historical connections between individual freedom, democratic values and institutions versus autocratic rule, tracing their impacts on prosperity, population growth and development over centuries.

Based on the passage, there is no information about whether the free cities of 1176, such as Genoa in Italy, have more organ donors today. The passage discusses the economic and political organization of the cities of Genoa and Maghribis in the 12th century, comparing individualist and collectivist values, but it does not mention organ donation or compare the present day.

  • The authors examined why the frontiers of freedom shifted from northern Italy to Western Europe in the 17th-18th centuries. They found that Atlantic trade was a key factor.

  • The boom in trade with American colonies caused values in nations with good Atlantic access (UK, Netherlands) to shift toward greater individual freedom.

  • Having Atlantic coastline alone didn’t explain it - institutional constraints on rulers’ power also mattered. Countries needed both Atlantic access and limits on absolute power.

  • The Dutch Republic and England were able to constrain royal power due to demands from new commercial interests profiting from Atlantic trade. This protected their property rights.

  • Autocracies perpetuate collectivist values where the group is supreme, while free societies promote individualist values of individual rights.

  • Parents in autocracies teach obedience to avoid punishment, perpetuating collectivist values across generations. Studies show regions with autocratic history still have lower trust and prosperity today.

  • The combination of Atlantic trade access and pre-existing free institutions allowed values of individualism and democracy to take hold most strongly in the Dutch Republic and UK.

The passage discusses how the battle of Legnano in 1176 helps predict modern values and political systems. It first talks about how democracy and individualist values reinforce each other over time through a virtuous feedback loop. Democracies that have been in place longer tend to value democracy more and develop stronger individualist norms.

It then discusses a study that found the best predictor of whether a country values democracy today is how long it has experienced democratic governance over the past two centuries. This suggests the concept of “democratic capital” - the accumulated experience of living under democracy. Countries with more democratic capital are less likely to revert to autocracy and have developed individualist values that support democratic institutions.

The passage notes this helps address some incorrect views about democracy and development. Emphasis should not just be on majority voting procedures but on rights and consent. Also, new democracies should not be judged harshly as problems reflect their autocratic past, not the democracy itself.

It then shifts to discussing Asian values and Lee Kuan Yew’s argument that collectivism led to growth in Asia. However, it notes Asia was similar or richer than Europe centuries ago before diverging due to differences in religions and institutions that supported individualism and cooperation across groups in Europe but not Asia. So Asia’s recent growth doesn’t negate Europe’s long-term relative success due to its values and political systems.

In summary, it analyzes how history and cumulative democratic experience shape modern values and predict political stability and respect for individual rights and democracy. Countries with early democratic successes like those triggered by the battle of Legnano developed values and institutions supporting democracy.

The passage discusses cultural values related to trust and individualism in China and Europe based on data from the World Values Survey. It finds that in China, behaving amorally outside the family is seen as acceptable, so people outside the family are not trusted. In contrast, more generalized moral behavior in Europe (using Britain as an example) supports greater willingness to trust other religious groups and nationalities, including strangers.

Countries are categorized based on measures of individualism and democratic capital. China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam score low on both, while countries like Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, and US score high on both.

The passage argues that individual rights can help solve problems better than an autocratic system because individuals have the best localized knowledge of problems and are incentivized to protest harm done to them by voting officials out of office.

It also discusses findings from interviews with people in 15 poor countries, which suggest that poor people generally do not like being told what to do and value making their own economic and political choices, like the right to protest injustice.

  • In 2005, Ethiopia’s autocratic ruler Meles Zenawi agreed to hold elections, likely hoping to bolster his international reputation by appearing democratic.

  • However, the opposition surprisingly did very well in the elections, with the opposition leader even winning the mayorship of Addis Ababa. This suggested discontent with Meles’ rule was high.

  • In response, Meles manipulated the vote counts to declare his party the winner. When students protested, Meles’ security forces opened fire, killing over 100 people. The opposition leader was jailed.

  • Major aid donors like DFID, USAID, and the World Bank supporting Ethiopia were embarrassed. Tony Blair, who had praised Meles, oversaw shifting aid to local governments instead of the discredited national one. However, this overlooked that the national government still controlled the local ones.

  • The episode showed the weakness of relying on a “benevolent autocrat” for development - without checks on power, rulers can abuse rights and crack down on political opposition when threatened.

  • Meles Zenawi was the prime minister of Ethiopia until June 2007. There were concerns that foreign aid provided by Britain and the US was being misused and politicized by his government.

  • In 2010, Human Rights Watch released a report alleging that Meles Zenawi was using donor funds to coerce starving peasants into supporting the ruling party and punishing opposition supporters by withholding food aid. Donor officials privately acknowledged the misuse of funds.

  • In 2012, an Ethiopian farmer named Mr. O sued British aid, alleging that the government’s forced resettlement program had displaced him and others from their land against their will, leading many like him to flee to refugee camps in Kenya. The program was intended to consolidate farmers into new “model villages.”

  • The Aja people of West Africa were disproportionately impacted by the slave trade due to their location near major slaving routes to Brazil and the Caribbean. This negatively impacted their population and development over the long run. Their experience illustrates how geography could make certain groups more vulnerable to oppression historically.

  • Leonardo Wantchekon is a political scientist from Benin who has done extensive research on the impacts of the slave trade in Africa.

  • In a 2011 study with Nathan Nunn, they found that ethnic groups in Africa that were more victimized by the slave trade today have lower levels of trust, even towards their own ethnic group. This lack of trust has hindered economic development.

  • The Aja people of Benin, Wantchekon’s own ethnic group, were heavily targeted by slave raiders. Even centuries later, Aja people still have very low levels of trust according to surveys.

  • By comparing the Aja to the Soninke people of West Africa who avoided slavery, the study was able to show that slavery likely caused the lack of trust, rather than the other way around.

  • Countries and regions more affected by the slave trade, like Benin, Ghana, Ethiopia, are often still poorer today compared to places less impacted. The slave trade contributed to underdevelopment in Africa by destroying trust and facilitating more authoritarian governments.

  • Researchers have traced how slavery in Colombia had long-lasting negative effects on health, such as higher child mortality, due to the oppressive legacy of slavery and autocratic rule. Autocratic rulers do not prioritize public health.

  • Slavery was introduced in the 1720s to supply labor for gold mining in Colombia, as the indigenous population was depleted. Mining areas that used slavery still have worse poverty, education, and health outcomes today.

  • Minority European rule in South America, including Colombia, exploited and oppressed the non-European majority for the benefit of the elite. This hampered long-term development by restricting economic rights, entrepreneurship, and public services.

  • Geography played a role, as South America had denser indigenous populations, making exploitation more feasible than European settlement. Minority European rule was less conducive to development than majority European societies like in North America.

  • The European elite in Colombia prioritized their own interests over investments in public health, education, and development for the non-European majority, resulting in Colombia’s underdevelopment compared to places like the United States.

  • Early New York (known as New Amsterdam under the Dutch) had elements of oppression similar to South American colonies, including slavery. The Dutch brought over 467 African slaves between 1626-1664.

  • Slavery first appeared in New York City and the Dutch gave some freed “half-free” slaves land north of the city to farm as a buffer against Native Americans they were at war with.

  • This included granting a 10-acre farm centered around what is now one block of Greene Street in Manhattan to a freed slave named Gratia d’Angola in the 1640s, establishing some of the earliest roots of that land’s history.

  • After Gratia, the owner of the Greene Street block was Nicholas Bayard, who belonged to the elite ruling class established by the Dutch in New York. For a time, New York had institutions that perpetuated the privileges of the European elite similar to South American colonies.

  • However, unlike South America, North American colonies eventually evolved in a direction that asserted the rights of the majority population rather than perpetuating an oppressive minority rule. This positive evolution towards majority rights is examined further in the chapter.

  • Nicholas Bayard was part of the political and economic elite in colonial New York, similar to elite families in Colombia that rotated political power. His connections helped him acquire large tracts of land.

  • Slavery and oppression of blacks was widespread in British North America in the 18th century, on par with South America. This enabled Bayard to accumulate land previously owned by freed or enslaved blacks.

  • However, unlike South America, northern climates attracted more European settlement. Family farming of wheat/corn was economically viable, not requiring large plantations. This limited slavery and promoted rights for European immigrants.

  • New York’s economy did not rely on slave crops like sugar, leading to stagnant black populations but growing white ones as more Europeans immigrated for land opportunities. Slavery gradually abolished in NY by 1827.

  • While the Bayard family was initially politically and economically powerful, democratic rights and economic mobility in New York prevented them and other elites from maintaining hereditary dominance over generations, unlike some Latin American elites. The Bayard business interests declined and the family lost most of their lands by the late 1700s.

  • Thomas Jefferson initially opposed federal funding for constructing the Erie Canal, which would have connected Lake Erie to the Hudson River via New York. But DeWitt Clinton, the governor of New York, convinced the state legislature to fund it.

  • The canal was completed in 1825 and proved tremendously successful. It vastly reduced transportation costs for shipping goods from the Midwest to markets in the East, particularly New York City. This made New York City the dominant port and boosted its population and economy significantly.

  • One beneficiary was Benjamin Mendes Seixas, a cigar importer who lived on the Greene Street block in New York. He was able to access much larger markets via the improved transportation provided by the canal network. He also invested in real estate around Greene Street, which increased in value as the city grew.

  • By 1850, Seixas had accumulated real estate assets worth around $1 million, equivalent to around $17 million today. He represented not just individual success but also the success of his Sephardic Jewish ethnic group, which found more freedom and opportunity in New York than elsewhere at the time.

So in summary, the Erie Canal project proved highly successful economically and boosted New York City despite initial skepticism, benefiting individuals like Seixas and minority groups through increased trade, transportation, economic growth and real estate appreciation.

  • Benjamin Seixas’ great-grandfather Isaac fled persecution of Jews in Portugal and arrived in New York in 1738, joining other Portuguese Jews who had already established a synagogue.

  • Benjamin’s father was a merchant of middling success in colonial New York. Benjamin became politically active and supported the American Revolution.

  • Benjamin helped launch New York’s finance industry, and his descendants prospered through finance. His family intermarried with other prominent Sephardic families in New York.

  • By the 1850s, the Seixas family had achieved major success and wealth through real estate investments and Wall Street finance. However, health issues still plagued the city, and Benjamin and his relatives suffered infant mortality.

  • In 1852, Benjamin Nathan’s daughter Luisa died of scarlet fever at age 5 on Bleecker Street. The next year, his son Lucien died at 7 months old.

  • Mendes Nathan, who lived down Greene Street, saw his daughter Constance die of dysentery at 19 months in 1849. Another daughter died of malnutrition at 26 days in 1850, and his daughter Anne died of whooping cough at 13 months in 1853. Later his son George would die at age 8 in 1863.

  • Their mother Sara Seixas Nathan had died of “childbed fever” in 1834. Having more children subjected mothers to high maternal mortality risks.

  • Records from the Shearith Israel synagogue from 1828-1855 show 443 total deaths. At the time, a third of deaths were of children under 5, compared to less than 1% today. Those ages 5-24 accounted for 13% of deaths, compared to less than 2% today.

  • The high child and young adult mortality in mid-19th century New York was due to lack of knowledge about disease, poor water/sanitation, and low income levels that made health and sanitation difficult. Improving these required democratic and scientific progress.

Here is a summary of the key points about migration discussed in the chapter:

  • The chapter uses the example of a Zambian doctor migrating to the US to argue that viewing migration through a nationalist lens prioritizes the rights of nations over the rights of individuals. Referring to migration as “theft” of doctors portrays individuals as the property of their home nation.

  • Love of one’s country can be noble, but it implies individual choice over allegiances to family, region, ethnicity, etc. Nationalism becomes authoritarian when it denies these choices.

  • When new nations emerged in the 20th century from wars and decolonization, some nationalist leaders defined national identity in terms of the majority ethnic group, suppressing minority ethnic identities and migration. This violated individual rights.

  • Immigration restrictions that were popular in the 1920s gave cover to technocratic nation-building efforts but denied individual rights to migrate for work or family reunification.

  • Overall, the chapter critiques an excessive nationalism or “nationalist obsession” that prioritizes the prerogatives of nations over the individual rights of citizens, including freedom of movement and choice of allegiance.

  • Authoritarian nationalism in poor countries has led to human rights violations against ethnic minorities through suppression of their religious/cultural rights and violent crackdowns on separatist movements. Examples given include repression of Kurds, Shiites, Christians and Somali minorities.

  • While discredited after World Wars, authoritarian nationalism was revived through development policies that emphasized nation-building over minority rights. Development efforts supported suppression of minorities in the name of national identity/interests.

  • Migration has historically served as an “escape hatch” for oppressed groups to assert individual rights elsewhere. Examples given include Portuguese Jews fleeing to New York in the 1700s and Russian Jews fleeing pogroms in the 1880s.

  • Development perspectives view migration negatively as removing human capital from countries of origin. But migration also benefits global development by allowing people to increase their incomes and potential.

  • For Haiti, migration to the US accounted for 82% of people lifted out of poverty, yet development views do not consider migration’s antipoverty impacts.

  • Despite proposals, the UN has never convened a summit on migration due to political sensitivities for rich countries around issues like immigration restrictions.

  • The ACLU describes laws that deny immigrants access to courts, impose indefinite detention, and discriminate based on nationality. This echoes past eras of authoritarianism and laws like the Oriental Exclusion Act.

  • In 2006, after 13 years of negotiations, nations agreed only to a “high-level dialogue” on migration - an empty process intended to avoid attracting attention to the issue. Rich migrant-receiving nations wanted to avoid scrutiny of how they treat would-be migrants.

  • International discussions have focused narrowly on remittances rather than migrants’ rights. The World Bank discusses remittances 150+ times in an 11-page report but never mentions rights. This overlooks migration as a way for individuals to escape oppression.

  • The “brain drain” concept has lost credibility as evidence shows brain drainers often remit earnings home. Restricting out-migration means fewer people invest in skills, offsetting “brains” retained. Gains to brain drainers themselves through higher wages abroad are ignored.

  • Internal migration within nations (like West Virginia losing people to other states) does not face the same stigma as international brain drain, even though the dynamics are similar. Out-migration from poor WV raised incomes for those left behind.

  • In Zambia, which restricted emigration after an economic shock, wages collapsed as labor supply remained stuck while demand dropped. WV allowed emigration, so labor supply dropped with demand, stabilizing wages for those remaining.

  • Pritchett argued that some countries became “ghost countries” - much poorer - when a major industry like copper collapsed, because people were unable to migrate elsewhere to find work. This made the country a “prison” for poor people.

  • The Mourides are a religious brotherhood from Senegal that became an international network of merchants. Mourides provided mutual support like loans, remittances, and housing to new migrants.

  • This network allowed for instant money transfers with minimal fees between Mourides abroad and in Senegal. It also facilitated international trade and market information sharing.

  • The Mouride network helped enable prosperity for members both in Senegal and abroad. For example, the Fall brothers used the network to build a successful international business spanning multiple continents.

  • The chapter argues that development policies overemphasized the role of national governments and ignored the impact of international and transnational forces like migration networks. Nations matter for growth but not as much as generally believed. Individual rights and the ability for cross-border exchange are also important for development.

The paper discusses findings from several studies that suggest national policies have little long-term impact on economic growth outcomes. It notes that countries experiencing rapid growth in one period often see slower growth in subsequent periods, and factors like commodity price booms that drive temporary growth are seldom repeated. About 95% of the variation in annual growth rates between countries is attributed to temporary fluctuations, rather than permanent differences. This implies that most instances of high growth will not be sustained. Even countries like China that achieve very high growth over decades will likely see their rates converge toward the global average of around 4% per capita in the long run. Therefore, policy experts who claim certain national policies can deliver large and sustained growth payoffs are overstating the evidence - growth successes are often temporary and driven more by chance events than distinct policy differences. Most purported “growth miracles” end up being one-time occurrences when viewed long-term.

  • Annual GDP growth rates are highly volatile due to temporary factors like commodity price booms/busts. It takes averaging over many years to filter out this “noise” and reveal the underlying “signal” of a country’s permanent growth rate.

  • A 10-year horizon is still not long enough, as temporary noise accounts for around 80% of variations in 10-year average growth rates across countries. Only at much longer periods can the role of country-specific factors be meaningfully assessed.

  • Growth data is subject to large measurement errors. Different sources often disagree significantly on growth rates for the same country and year. Revisions to past data are also substantial.

  • These measurement issues mean we cannot reliably assess the impact of national policies on growth within a reasonably short time horizon like 10 years. The available data is still too noisy.

  • Looking at longer periods helps average out measurement errors. But even then, a country’s broad geographic region (e.g. sub-Saharan Africa) is often a better predictor of its growth than national policies or characteristics.

So in summary, short-term growth volatility and measurement errors make it difficult for policymakers to reasonably gauge a country’s growth potential or the effects of their policies within a typical policy horizon. A much longer-term perspective is needed.

  • Regional differences explain about as much variation in GDP growth rates across decades as national differences do. East Asian countries on average grow 1 percentage point more than Latin American countries and 2 percentage points more than African countries.

  • The worst growth disasters are mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, while the best growth performers are in East Asia. This suggests regional growth effects are important.

  • Regions also tend to move together from one decade to the next in terms of growth performance, further indicating regional growth dynamics.

  • A nation should not take credit for growth that is average for its region - it is regional growth effects plus any additional national factors that determine overall performance. This means national differences explain less of the observed growth variation than previously thought.

  • The data suggests growth success and failure has more to do with regional influences than national policy alone. Taking a more regional view could provide new insights into development outcomes.

  • The story of a family from Fujian province in China that succeeded across multiple countries in East Asia illustrates the important role of regional networks like overseas Chinese communities in the region’s economic success.

  • The passage discusses significant inequalities in development outcomes between countries, citing examples like infant mortality rates being under 1% in Sweden but nearly 15% in Mozambique, and life expectancy being 77 years in the US but only 37-39 years in Sierra Leone and Botswana.

  • It also notes vast differences in consumption expenditures, from $279 annually in Nigeria to $17,232 in Luxembourg on average.

  • However, it argues that factors like life expectancy, income, and development are more dependent on regions than individual nations, as seen by maps showing similar outcomes across geographic regions regardless of national borders.

  • It uses the example of Aleppo, Syria to illustrate how the imposition of national borders after WW1 disrupted longstanding regional trade networks and economic prosperity by making cross-border trade and movement more difficult. This decline was exacerbated by successive events.

  • The passage argues that development thinking overemphasized nations at the expense of appreciating trade between regions, to the potential detriment of development outcomes, especially in newly independent African nations divided into many smaller countries.

  • The passage describes the story of Chung Ju Yung, a Korean man born in 1915 who struggled with poverty and hunger due to the infertility of the soil on his family’s farm.

  • Rather than trying to directly solve his own agricultural problems, Chung looked for others who could solve that problem for him by producing food. Meanwhile, he focused on solving other people’s problems through his skill in auto repair.

  • This reflects the idea of an “association of problem-solvers” where individuals specialize in solving different problems and exchange their solutions through trade.

  • Adam Smith developed the idea that a market allows for such an association, with knowledge and incentives driving spontaneous problem-solving. However, this view gets little recognition for development.

  • For such a problem-solvers association to work, there needs to be adequate knowledge sharing and incentives. Chung’s story illustrates the importance of local knowledge that outsiders may lack.

  • The passage argues markets offer a neglected alternative to conscious design and centralized solutions for development, allowing spontaneous, localized problem-solving.

The passage discusses how development experts often fail to properly communicate with local communities. It provides an example from Lesotho, Africa, where a World Bank project aimed to promote agriculture but failed to realize the local men had no interest in farming and instead worked as migrant miners in South Africa. Experts struggle to understand complex local conditions like soil quality, adaptation needs, and individual farming abilities. Success often comes unexpectedly and is hard to predict. Drawing on Adam Smith’s insights, it notes that solving knowledge problems requires rewarding problem-solvers.

The passage then provides context on Adam Smith and his insights on the “invisible hand” of the market. It seeks to correct misunderstandings, noting Smith was critical of greed and monopolies. He saw markets as promoting general welfare not by enriching the greedy, but by reducing merchant privileges through competition. Consumers’ self-interest, not just firms’, drive the invisible hand. While markets solve many problems, governments still have an important role, contrary to some extreme views of Smith’s ideas. In summary, it aims to properly situate Smith’s influential yet often misunderstood concept of the invisible hand.

  • Adam Smith articulated three ideas that made the invisible hand an effective problem-solving system: division of labor, gains from specialization, and gains from trade. These concepts are interconnected.

  • Division of labor involves dividing the production process into specialized tasks performed by different workers. This allows for specialization.

  • Specialization allows people to focus on what they are best at, exploiting their comparative advantage. It also leads to learning by doing, where people get better through repeated practice of specialized tasks.

  • Gains from trade occur as specialized producers trade their outputs for the outputs of others. This exchange maximizes efficiency and benefits all parties.

  • Prices emerge from open competition and allow individuals to easily find the best problem-solvers for their needs. The market sorting process means only the most efficient producers can survive in the long run.

  • This system solves the knowledge and incentive problems of connecting individuals to solutions without centrally coordinated planning. Individual choices and market prices aggregate dispersed knowledge.

So in summary, Smith argued division of labor, specialization and trade, as enabled by open competition and prices, allows for an effective decentralized problem-solving system through the invisible hand.

  • The free market solves the incentive problem through a self-reinforcing system of rewards. Individual problem solvers are rewarded financially based on how much social value their solutions provide to others.

  • Prices communicate information that allows decentralized coordination between suppliers and consumers. Problem solvers only need to know market prices to know where their efforts are most valuable.

  • When private returns don’t align with social returns, such as in monopolies or public goods, markets can fail to solve problems efficiently. Government intervention may be needed.

  • However, governments also face incentive problems as public actors don’t always have incentives to find optimal solutions. Bureaucrats may be rewarded regardless of outcomes.

  • The debate should not be about choosing markets vs governments, as both can fail. The goal should be aligning private and social incentives for both private and public actors through tools like democratic accountability.

  • The vision should be about individual rights and accountability for all actors, rather than choosing between state power and free markets. Both play a role, and both need oversight to solve problems efficiently.

  • The technocratic approach of having experts solve societal problems is problematic because experts face neither market forces nor democratic accountability. This means there is no incentive structure to scale up successes or abandon failures.

  • In contrast, the invisible hand guides decentralized solutions through market and democratic feedback. Individuals specialize in solving problems where benefits outweigh costs, leading to efficient circulation of resources.

  • Setting predefined development goals, as advocated by Gates, Kim, and the UN, ignores this principle. It risks overfunding low benefit goals and underfunding high benefit goals without the flexibility of decentralized feedback.

  • The story of Greene Street in New York illustrates how decentralized problem-solving through specialization and trade can dynamically reinvent an area as conditions change. It transitioned from residences to brothels to manufacturing as comparative advantages shifted over time in response to market forces.

So in summary, the book argues expertise-driven top-down solutions are less effective than decentralized, feedback-driven problem solving through individual choice and the invisible hand’s incentivization of specialization and trade.

  • Jews in the Russian Pale of Settlement were often confined to “needle trades” like tailoring and millinery work. Factories in America offered a familiar environment with few language barriers and no hostility from non-Jews.

  • Italian immigrants also found work in garment factories. Many Italian women had experience with sewing and embroidery from their home country. Italian immigrants settled near the Greene Street block.

  • In 1882, two German Jewish brothers named Henry and Isaac Meinhard saw an opportunity to establish garment factories and warehouses on the Greene Street block in New York, which had previously been the site of brothels. They tore down three brothels and built new six-story cast iron buildings.

  • The Meinhard brothers’ development helped transform the block into a center of the garment industry. It attracted Italian and Jewish immigrant workers as well as suppliers and customers. Factories employed hundreds of workers and the real estate values increased dramatically.

  • Specialization and trade allowed individuals and countries to develop expertise in narrow product niches. South Korea’s auto industry success originated from one man, Chung Ju Yung, and his repair shop that became the Hyundai motor company, a top exporter worldwide today. However, specializations are always changing with market conditions.

  • There is significant volatility and unpredictability in international trade specialization and production over time. Countries and companies that were once top exporters or producers in certain industries are replaced by others.

  • This reflects the constant changing of comparative advantages as labor costs, skills, resources, technology, and other factors change around the world. The invisible hand of the market continually updates specializations through price signals.

  • The success of Hyundai in South Korea is discussed as an example. Chung Ju Yung was able to adapt Hyundai successfully to changing political and economic conditions in South Korea over time.

  • Gains from specialization come as countries produce more of what they have abundant resources or lower costs in, and import things they have less of or higher costs in. Comparative advantage is based more on specific skills, geography, inputs, culture etc. than just broad factors like labor costs.

  • Local producers themselves have the most knowledge about their specific comparative advantages due to localized factors and skills. The invisible hand utilizes this localized knowledge as producers decide what to specialize in response to market signals.

  • Specialization and trade allow producers to focus on what they are best at producing given their available resources. This principle of comparative advantage leads to gains from trade.

  • Learning by doing is another major driver of specialization. Workers become more skilled and efficient the more they narrow their focus and specialize in a particular task or industry. This accumulation of expertise argues for further specialization and hyperspecialization over time.

  • Chung Ju Yung and Hyundai Motors exemplified the benefits of learning by doing. Starting from auto repair, Chung gained expertise that helped Hyundai win contracts to assemble Ford cars in Korea. Through continuous collaboration and independence from Ford, Hyundai steadily built up its own engineering and design capabilities. This learning process took decades as Hyundai progressed from assembly to developing its own models.

  • Finance plays an important role in allowing successful specialized industries to scale up. Banks and capital markets provide funding for growing sectors while withdrawing it from contracting ones. This fuels further development in thriving areas and removes resources from uncompetitive industries. South Korea’s larger financial system contributed significantly to scaling its most export-competitive industries like autos.

  • Financial institutions and markets play an important role in promoting economic growth and opportunities by efficiently allocating resources like screening borrowers and identifying promising investment projects.

  • However, there is also potential for activities in finance that generate private returns without social returns, like deception, embezzlement, and Ponzi schemes. Cheating has existed in finance for centuries.

  • In the 1980s, new theories of economic growth emerged that emphasized the role of learning by doing and technological progress in development. Specifically, an article in 1986 introduced the concept of increasing returns from investment and another in 1993 explained South Korea’s growth through learning by specialization.

  • These new theories extended Adam Smith’s idea of the invisible hand to technological innovation. They helped explain both how technologies are invented through innovation and how they spread through imitation.

  • One simple model suggested that more people means more problem-solvers generating new ideas through trial and error, thus driving innovation. Increased ideas enable larger production and economic growth since ideas are “nonrival” and can be shared.

So in summary, it describes the role of financial systems in development but also their limitations, then outlines how new growth theories incorporated technological progress and learning as drivers of development building on Smith’s concept of the invisible hand.

  • The idea of a wheeled cart can be shared and used by many, allowing production to increase for multiple users. However, if one physically constructs a cart, only their own production increases since only they can use that specific cart.

  • Population growth leads to more new ideas being generated, fueling technological progress and higher production. This creates a virtuous cycle where larger populations produce more innovations, enabling even higher population growth and production.

  • Evidence that supports this people-driven model of innovation is the accelerating rate of population growth and technological progress throughout history as global population increased. More populous regions also tended to be more technologically advanced.

  • Technological progress itself becomes self-reinforcing as new inventions are often combinations of previous innovations. Having more existing technology enables faster rates of new innovation, creating a technological virtuous cycle on top of the population-innovation cycle. Key figures like James Watt combined existing inventions in new ways to make technological breakthroughs like the steam engine.

  • In 1805, a British engineer named George Stephenson managed to combine previous inventions like the steam engine, iron rails, and horse-drawn wheeled vehicles into the first functioning steam locomotive. It hauled coal, flour and passengers in England.

  • Interestingly, the railroad gauge (distance between wheels) that Stephenson used was 4 feet 8.5 inches, which was also the wheel rut spacing found on ancient Cretan roads from 2000 BC. This standard gauge persists today.

  • Technology tends to diffuse faster where more technology already exists. Eurasia had more advanced technology early on which predicts it would be the center of innovation for the past millennium.

  • Data shows technology levels in 1500 predict income and technology today. 78% of income differences between Europe and Africa can be explained by 1500 technology levels.

  • However, this does not explain why Western Europe pulled ahead of Eastern Eurasia starting in the late 1700s. The key was the new emphasis on the individual in the Western Enlightenment.

  • Ideas like challenging authority and allowing private returns to innovation encouraged more experimentation and innovation in the West compared to conformist societies in the East. This helped the West invent things like the steam engine and pull ahead technologically.

  • James Watt was able to significantly improve the steam engine over 12 years because he had obtained a patent, which gave him exclusive rights and profits to incentivize further innovation. He was also supported by financing from a factory owner.

  • Schumpeter argued that innovators gain a temporary monopoly through commercializing new products based on their ideas. These monopoly profits provide a generous return to encourage innovation, even if monopolies eventually face “creative destruction” from competitors.

  • Paul Romer developed the first widely accepted mathematical model of Schumpeter’s ideas in 1990. It incorporated the concept of monopolistic competition, where monopolists produce similar but imperfect substitute products. This competition limits monopoly profits over time.

  • Romer further argued in 1994 that new technologies spread as innovative products are traded and imported. Importing a new product allows imitation of its embodied technology.

  • Research also shows that moving people, not just places, facilitate spreading technology over long periods. Peoples’ ancestral technologies from 1500 better predict current development than where they were located then. Settlers brought technology with them.

  • Ghana became a leading cocoa producer in the early 1900s due to local farmers innovating, not the colonial government. A Ghanaian farmer introduced cocoa from South America and locals developed small-scale production superior to plantations.

  • The Ashanti people in central Ghana around Kumasi adopted cocoa farming as smallholders. They became Ghana’s main cocoa producers at independence.

  • Nkrumah’s attempts to redistribute wealth between ethnic groups unintentionally hurt Ashanti cocoa farmers through punitive taxation. Recent Ghanaian governments have refrained from this.

  • The potato was introduced to China by Dutch traders in the 1600s. It allowed farming in new areas and substituted for lower-yield crops. This supported China’s population growth between 1700-1900.

  • Technologies like elevators and cast-iron buildings, imported from Britain but refined by New York innovators, supported the textile boom on Greene Street in New York from 1880-1910.

  • However, new assembly line technologies made larger buildings preferable, causing the industry to shift north by 1922. Technology development both enabled and replaced the Greene Street textile industry.

  • Imitating technology is usually cheaper than inventing it. Incentives and individual freedom affect a society’s openness to imitation, as with invention. Catching up technologically explains some poor countries’ rapid growth. Frontier countries see less long-term growth variation.

This section discusses how innovations arise unexpectedly and cannot be planned or predicted in advance. Some key points:

  • Innovation involves solving knowledge problems that cannot be fully known. If something was predictable, it would not be considered innovation.

  • Individuals have unique knowledge and views, so involving independent efforts of many people increases the chances of unexpected innovations emerging. Central planning by experts would not uncover surprises.

  • Competition helps by allowing many alternatives to be tested by consumers in the market. Successful innovations are adopted while failures are weeded out.

  • Early attempts at automobiles like steam carriages failed despite seeming like obvious innovations. It took decades of incremental improvements by many innovators like Daimler, Benz, Ford, etc. for cars to become successful.

  • Countries’ dominance in various industries has also emerged surprisingly over time, like the US in early cars or post-WWII Germany. Innovation paths are hard to foresee.

  • Overall the principle discussed is that innovation inherently involves surprises and unknown knowledge. The best approach is decentralized efforts, competition and consumers choosing what works rather than central planning.

  • After World War 2, Volkswagen offered its design to Britain and the US but there were no takers, as reviews said the car was unattractive and did not meet technical standards.

  • By 1959, VW had sold 400,000 Beetles in the US, showing its success despite the early rejections.

  • Toyota’s first attempt to export to the US, the Toyopet, was not very successful due to issues like small rearview mirrors and weak headlights. Its Corolla model did better.

  • The 1970s oil shocks increased demand for fuel-efficient small cars like the Corolla. This helped Japanese automakers like Toyota surpass the US and become the world’s top exporter by 1980.

  • Many automakers from history like Mercedes, Ford, and Toyota remain major players today, showing the long-lasting private returns from innovation in this monopolistically competitive industry.

  • Technological catch-up reflects a country’s prior technological prowess, as seen with Japan and South Korea becoming major auto exporters based on East Asia’s pre-modern achievements. Now China has also become the top auto producer.

  • Customers, not experts, determine what technologies succeed. Mobile phones are transforming Africa more than expected broadband uses. MPESA in Kenya shows unexpected mobile banking innovations.

  • Motor vehicles have also transformed Africa, used to transport many goods including phones/minutes sold at roadside kiosks. Car ownership in Africa continues rising along with incomes.

  • Technology and market surprises interact, making Africa’s future transport technologies hard to predict. Examples include Rwanda’s success exporting high-end coffee internationally via air freight.

  • There is a notion that certain autocratic leaders delivered rapid economic development, known as “autocratic miracles”, citing examples like Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore and Deng Xiaoping in China. However, evidence for whether autocrats truly cause growth is ambiguous.

  • Autocrats have presided over both growth miracles and growth disasters, so on average their growth performance is similar to or worse than democracies. While some autocrats may have been benevolent, autocracy does not guarantee growth.

  • Psychological biases can distort how we interpret this evidence. We tend to confuse the statement “most growth miracles occur under autocrats” with the false statement “most autocrats produce growth miracles.” We also confuse the stronger claim that autocracy ensures growth with the weaker claim that some autocrats achieve miracles.

  • Rare events like growth miracles combined with offsetting disasters mean the probabilities of these two claims are very different. But our biases lead us to see evidence that favors autocratic rule for development, when the evidence is actually ambiguous at best.

The article argues that our psychological biases can lead us astray when evaluating autocratic leaders and countries. We tend to hear more about successes than failures. This makes it seem like autocratic systems are more effective than they really are.

The article tells a parable about two individuals, Sam and Joe, where Sam starts out much richer but Joe catches up in the long run. Most people would want to emulate early successful Sam, but he represents the US while Joe represents China in the long run.

Recent growth in China and success surviving the 2008 crisis led some to believe autocracy is more efficient. But looking only at recent decades ignores the long history where the US outperformed. Temporary success does not mean trends will continue forever.

Drawing strong conclusions from limited data is a mistake, as is assuming temporary high growth rates will persist indefinitely. Countries with more variability in growth are poorer countries - their lack of stability, not autocratic leadership, likely drives fluctuations. Overall, psychological biases can lead us to overestimate the benefits of autocratic leadership based on limited and temporary successes. Looking at longer histories and wider data is important to avoid being misled.

  • Poor countries have the potential for rapid catch-up growth by cheaply imitating technologies from rich countries. However, if they fail to adopt advanced technologies, they will fall further behind. Successful catch-up growth depends on incentives and a history of technological experience.

  • Fact 2 (greater dispersion of growth rates in poor vs rich countries) suggests the highest growth rates in poor countries will exceed the highest in rich countries. Fact 1 says autocrats are more common in poor, fast-growing countries. However, the catch-up theory provides an alternative explanation for fast growth that has little to do with autocrats.

  • Changes produce changes, so a change in freedom could explain a change in development. Increased political or economic freedom in countries like China represents a reduction in state power and increased individual rights. This positive change in freedom is another potential explanation for growth miracles often credited to autocrats.

  • Autocrats are often given too much credit for increases in economic freedom. Resistance and decentralize responses from individuals can also pressure autocrats to reduce economic controls, just as with political freedoms. The switch to family farming in China may have resulted more from farmer resistance than intentional policy changes.

  • There is a psychological bias to attribute outcomes to intentional actions and skills of individuals rather than external factors. Stories of benevolent autocrats cater to the “wish for heroes” rather than objective analysis of alternative explanations.

  • An experiment asked people to write letters either praising or criticizing Fidel Castro, with the assignments randomly determined. Even though people knew the assignments were random, they believed writers of pro-Castro letters personally supported him.

  • Another experiment found people rated actors who randomly received higher payments as more skilled, ignoring the randomness.

  • These experiments show a bias to attribute outcomes to intentions and skill rather than randomness. This could bias views of autocratic leaders.

  • Looking at growth under different autocrats found no consistent evidence that some autocrats boosted growth while others harmed it. Growth changes often happened independently of leadership changes.

  • Alternative explanations like technological catching-up or increasing freedom often better explained growth booms than individual leaders.

  • In summary, while personality-based stories are psychologically appealing, the data did not strongly support some autocrats having significant positive or negative impacts on economic growth compared to country-level factors. Measurement issues and growth sometimes continuing seamlessly under new leaders challenged arguments individual autocrats strongly shaped economic outcomes.

  • The researcher finds little evidence that leaders have significant effects on economic growth rates. Allowing for some margin of error, the data suggests leader effects explain very little.

  • National and regional characteristics seem to matter more in the long run, consistent with country-level explanations for growth successes like China and other cases of technological catch-up.

  • Growth rates are highly volatile, with large unexplained components each year. This implies leaders often get lucky and take credit for booms that began before or continued after they were in office.

  • Experts advising leaders claimed they could deliver high growth in exchange for more power, but the evidence shows leader effects are small, contradicting this justification for experts’ influence.

  • The World Bank continues supporting authoritarian regimes like Ethiopia despite jailing dissidents, showing the persistence of technocratic priorities over democratic values in development institutions.

  • Democracies resist experts’ ambitious plans through individuals mobilizing against threats to their rights, as seen when residents fought urban renewal plans for Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood in the 1940s-50s.

  • In the 1960s, artists began moving into empty industrial loft spaces in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood as the area was losing industrial companies. The large, cheap spaces were ideal for artists.

  • One block in particular, the Greene Street block, became the epicenter of the growing artist community in SoHo. Many art galleries opened there starting in the 1970s.

  • Robert Moses, an influential urban planner, had plans to demolish and redevelop SoHo that would have destroyed the neighborhood.

  • Jane Jacobs opposed Moses’ plans and argued neighborhoods evolve organically to meet residents’ needs, not through top-down planning. She helped form an alliance between artists and nearby Greenwich Village residents against Moses.

  • Moses ultimately lost this battle, allowing SoHo and the Greene Street block to be preserved. The growing art scene drew other businesses and eventually wealthy residents, revitalizing the area through an organic process rather than Moses’ planned demolition.

  • Today the Greene Street block is home to upscale retail stores and loft apartments worth millions, showing how allowing flexible redevelopment over time can greatly increase property values. The story supports Jacobs’ view that spontaneous, grassroots solutions are often better than heavy-handed urban planning.

  • French economist François Quesnay advocated for an absolute monarch or “benevolent autocrat” who would be advised by experts and simply follow their advice to form the perfect society.

  • Quesnay believed the emperor’s role was to select experts based on merit. The experts would determine the optimal laws and policies to benefit both the ruler and the nation. Society without expert guidance was doomed to fail.

  • While envisioning a perfect government led by experts, Quesnay’s own political views leaned towards laissez-faire economics, similar to free market dictators. He rejected the idea of limiting the emperor’s power.

  • Adam Smith disagreed with Quesnay’s vision of unchecked political power. Based on his knowledge of history, Smith was skeptical of rulers’ behavior when given unlimited authority.

  • While Quesnay relied on top-down design of perfect government, Smith saw that political and economic systems could self-correct through the independent actions of individuals, similar to an invisible hand.

  • Psychology prefers intentional, personality-driven explanations over complex, spontaneous outcomes. This favors approaches like Quesnay’s over Smith’s. But history showed that conscious direction was not always effective and spontaneous solutions often emerge.

So in summary, the passage discusses the opposing views of Quesnay and Smith on political authority, government direction vs self-organization, and how psychology influences these debates. It favors Smith’s perspective based on empirical evidence.

  • The World Bank funded part of Ethiopia’s forced villagization program which relocated over 1.5 million people against their will, killing resisters. This violated human rights but the World Bank denied the claims and renewed funding.

  • In Uganda, the World Bank funded a British forestry project that took farmers’ land at gunpoint. The details of the settlement for the harmed farmers remained confidential and the World Bank failed to properly investigate its role.

  • Both stories showed how development agencies like the World Bank can overlook and forget about human rights violations against the poor when Western governments are involved. There is a need for more advocacy to ensure the rights and needs of the poor are not forgotten.

  • Some positive trends were noted, like increasing political and economic freedom in more countries over time according to measurements. Democracies are also gradually increasing in Africa, though more work remains to be done to protect human rights in development.

  • John Kufuor was the political heir to the Ashanti-based opposition to Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana. He was elected president in 2004 and reelected, but his party then lost elections in 2008 and 2012. Power transferred peacefully through elections.

  • Economic freedom in Ghana had increased before the transition to more political freedom, as the Rawlings government reduced controls on Ashanti cocoa growers in the 1980s. Ethnic tensions have faded as freedom increased.

  • Ghana’s per capita growth since 2000 is around 4% per year, higher than sub-Saharan Africa’s average recovery in the mid-1990s.

  • In Latin America in the 1970s, Hirschman warned of risks to democracy from technocratic development, but democratic progress happened anyway, and military rulers lost power by the late 1980s. Most countries are now classified as free democracies by Freedom House.

  • South Korea and Taiwan transitioned from authoritarian leadership to democracy in the 1980s-1990s without harming economic growth, contradicting the idea that autocracy was necessary for their development success.

  • The block of Greene Street in New York illustrates spontaneous development and improvements in living standards and health over time, made possible by technological progress and accountable democratic government.

  • Chen Guangcheng is a Chinese dissident who faced imprisonment and house arrest for suing local officials over forced abortions, but ultimately escaped to the US in 2012, calling for more freedom in China.

  • Chen Guangcheng criticized China’s lack of respect for citizens’ rights and argued that Chinese people must fight for their own rights rather than wait for an enlightened emperor to grant them. He believed that unrestrained power is always a threat to development, no matter how benevolent the current autocrat seems.

  • The passage argues it is time for an open debate on unequal rights between rich and poor. It calls for all men and women to be equally free.

  • Chen’s views reflect an understanding that power needs checks, even if leaders have good intentions now, and that sustained development requires citizens’ active participation in demanding and securing their own rights. The passage agrees it is important to address inequality of rights and calls for freedom and equal rights for all.

Here is a summary of the selected passages:

  • The passages discuss the ideas of development thinkers in the early-to-mid 20th century, particularly regarding China and Africa. They reference the views of influential figures like Sun Yat-sen, J.B. Condliffe, Yuan Chen, and Lord Hailey.

  • Sun Yat-sen advocated for development in China through aspects like industrialization, land reform, and republican democratic governance. Western thinkers at the time debated China’s development path.

  • The Institute of Pacific Relations brought together scholars to discuss development in Asia. China’s potential development and relationship with the West was a major topic.

  • In Africa, Lord Hailey and the British colonial office emphasized development for native populations’ welfare, though within the framework of colonial rule. Their views evolved with changing strategic priorities during World War 2.

  • Approaches to development shifted from the 1930s to postwar period. Post-WW2 thinkers emphasized multipolar cooperation and national planning for developing regions through organizations like the UN. Debates continued around socialist vs. free market approaches.

In summary, the passages discuss the emerging ideas and debates around development thinking regarding China and Africa in the early-mid 20th century, referencing influential scholars and strategic priorities at the time. Development pathways and Western engagement were ongoing topics of discussion.

Here is a summary of the selected sources:

  • Macmillan (2000) and Mazower (2009) examine the ideological origins of the United Nations and argue that concepts of trusteeship and development were influenced by ideas about control over former colonies.

  • Lord Hailey’s 1938 “African Survey” laid out a philosophy of indirect colonial rule and argued colonial development should prioritize basic infrastructure, agriculture, and African welfare.

  • The 1942 Committee on Africa report supported developing Africa based on local conditions and prioritizing Africans’ interests.

  • Colonial officials debated the extent to which colonial policy should prioritize African interests or stay focused on economic development for the metropole.

  • Scholars like Horne argue Japanese victories shook beliefs in invincibility of white colonial powers and reinforced ideas of developing colonies for their own people.

  • The UN drafting charter emphasized trusteeship and self-determination, influenced by criticisms of exploiting colonies purely for European gain.

  • Figures like Lewis helped develop theories of dual-sector economies and strategies of balanced growth to promote development from within developing countries.

  • Currie’s 1950 World Bank mission to Colombia laid out a comprehensive development program focused on infrastructure, agriculture, resources, and broader development goals.

  • Early World Bank efforts struggled with balancing member states’ interests, development needs, and non-political mandate in a politically unstable world.

  • Rosenstein-Rodan and Hirschman developed theories about startup difficulties, thresholds, and path dependence that influenced later structuralist approaches to development.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The text provides citations and summaries from two chapters of the book “The New Prosperity: Building Economic and Social Bridges for a Shared Purpose” available at–133457.pdf accessed on August 24, 2013.

Chapter 6 discusses the long struggle for individual rights in Europe from the 12th century to the 17th century. It describes conflicts between the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and the Italian city-states over their claims to autonomy. It also discusses the development of concepts of natural rights and social contracts in thinkers like Walter Ullmann.

Chapter 7 discusses institutions and development in Africa today. It describes the work of the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative but also cites reports by Human Rights Watch that are critical of foreign aid to Ethiopia and how it has underwritten repression. The chapter discusses the long-term impacts of the slave trade in destabilizing institutions and mistrust in Africa according to researchers like Nathan Nunn. It also discusses the influence of institutions and inequality on development in countries like Colombia.

This summary covers key ideas and sources discussed in the passage:

-Sources 4-7 discuss the history of the Jewish Seixas family in New York from the 18th century onward, using sources like census records and newspapers.

-Sources 8-10 discuss the growth of New York City’s population in the 18th-19th centuries, citing works by Rosenwaike, Stokes, and Bernstein.

-Sources 11-12 analyze the economic and population growth effects of the Erie Canal using works by Easterly et al. and Bernstein.

-Source 13 cites a work by Glaeser discussing factors in New York City becoming the largest city in America.

-Sources 14-15 discuss New York City’s rise as a port city in the late 18th-19th centuries, citing works by Albion/Pope and the Maddison Project database.

-Sources 16-19 discuss the history of Sephardic Jewish communities in America using works like Ben-Ur and Moore.

-Sources 20-25 provide further details on the Seixas family history, citing sources like census records, newspapers and the work of Stern.

-Sources 26-27 discuss historical population and health trends in NYC, citing works by Haines and Deaton.

-Sources 28-32 cover the development of sewer/public health infrastructure and epidemics in NYC during the 18th-19th centuries, citing works by Goldman, Duffy, Melosi, Rosner and Baumgartner.

Here is a summary of part five, chapter 11 and 12 from the source text:

  • Part Five discusses conscious design versus spontaneous solutions. Chapter 11 analyzes markets as associations of problem solvers, drawing on Adam Smith’s writings. It provides examples of how specialization and exchange have emerged spontaneously in markets. It examines the rise of Hyundai as an example of trade specialization.

  • Chapter 12 examines technology and how progress can occur without full understanding of the causes or mechanics. It discusses models of endogenous technological change. It analyzes how Rwanda developed its ICT sector and broadband access despite low incomes. It draws on research showing the increasing importance of ideas and human capital in economic growth over the long run compared to physical capital. It discusses evidence that ideas and productivity have grown more rapidly in recent centuries compared to previous eras.

Here are summaries of the selected sources:

  • Source 1 describes a study of pile dwellings from the Millennium BC in Slovenia, examining archaeological remains found on a waterlogged site.

  • Source 6 discusses how transportation networks facilitated the spread of ideas and technologies across continents throughout history.

  • Source 17 analyzes whether levels of development in 1000 BC can help explain economic performance today.

  • Source 18 considers how geography influenced the Enlightenment and the economic theories that emerged from this period.

  • Source 19 examines how new theories and technologies in the 18th century challenged old ways of thinking and transformed the British economy.

  • Source 23 presents a model of how endogenous technological change occurs as innovations build on previous innovations.

  • Source 25 links European colonial settlements to higher incomes in former colonies today.

  • Sources 27-30 provide historical context on cocoa production in Ghana and discuss the relationships between African farmers and agricultural experts.

  • Sources 41-44 analyze the growth of mobile money in Kenya and its economic and social impacts.

The summaries focus on the main topics, arguments, and conclusions of the selected sources as requested. Let me know if you need any part summarized in more detail.

Here is a summary of the citations provided:

  • Citation 21 summarizes a 2011 speech by Robert Zoellick where he strangely applied the term “democratizing” to “development economics” rather than political changes.

  • Citation 22 references the 2011 World Development Report by the World Bank on conflict, security and development.

  • Citation 23 indicates that the entire section draws heavily on a 2013 working paper by Easterly, Freschi and Pennings examining development on a street in New York City over 400 years.

  • Citation 24 references a 1933 New York Times article about a shacktown in New York pulling through the winter.

  • Citation 25 references a 1946 planning document for Washington Square area by Arthur Holden.

  • Citation 26 discusses urban renewal by Robert Moses.

  • Citations 27-30 reference various Robert Moses papers related to slum clearance plans in New York.

  • Citation 31 references a website about abstract expressionism in New York.

  • Citation 32 discusses a book about an art space in New York from 1970-1974.

  • Citation 33 references an interview about that art space.

  • Citation 34 references Jane Jacobs’ book The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

  • Citation 35 references another interview about the art space.

  • Citation 36 references a website about that “Project of Living Artists” art space.

  • No summary needed for citations 37-45 as they are just attribution citations.

  • The British Department for International Development (DFID) provided foreign aid to developing countries as part of Britain’s role in the former British Empire.

  • China developed under authoritarian/technocratic rule in the early 20th century, with experts and benevolent autocrats playing a role in guiding development. There was debate around conscious design vs spontaneous solutions.

  • Colombia also developed under authoritarian/technocratic rule in the mid-20th century, guided by experts like Lauchlin Currie. Individual rights were limited.

  • Ethiopia more recently developed with authoritarian rule and involvement of foreign experts/aid organizations. Programs like “villagization” restricted individual rights.

  • Ghana developed under authoritarian rule in earlier decades but now has more political and economic freedom, allowing for continued economic growth.

  • Freedom levels, the role of experts/autocrats, and debates around conscious design vs spontaneous solutions were themes that recurred across different countries and periods of authoritarian/technocratic development. Individual rights were often limited under these models of development.

Here is a summary of the provided references:

  • and technology, spread of, 291–293 - References the spread of technology.

  • See also Africa - Indicates to see the entry for Africa for related information.

  • Gladwell, Malcolm, 246 - Cites Malcolm Gladwell.

  • Gómez, Laureano, 110–111, 112 - Cites Laureano Gómez on pages 110-111 and 112.

  • The Good Earth (P. S. Buck), 65–66 - References the book The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck on pages 65-66.

  • Gorodnichenko, Yuriy, 147 - Cites Yuriy Gorodnichenko on page 147.

  • Government. See Market versus government debate - Directs the reader to the entry for “Market versus government debate” for information about government.

  • The Great Escape (Deaton), 192 - References the book The Great Escape by Angus Deaton on page 192.

  • Greene Street block… - Provides multiple citations and details about the Greene Street block in Manhattan, New York City.

  • Hayek, Friedrich, 77, 100-101, 300 - Cites Friedrich Hayek on pages 77, 100-101, and 300.

  • Hailey, Lord William Malcolm, 81-82, 82-83, 86-91, 98, 100, 103-104, 164, 339 - Cites Lord William Malcolm Hailey on the specified pages.

  • History. See Blank Slate versus history debate - Directs the reader to the entry for “Blank Slate versus history debate” for information about history.

So in summary, it provides citations to authors, books, debates and describes the Greene Street block example in reference to the provided context around and technology, spread of.

Here is a summary of the key points around opia, trust, and related topics:

  • Opia (oppression) was common in areas that relied heavily on the slave trade, particularly in South America versus North America. The practice of slavery undermined trust between groups.

  • In Benin (West Africa), opia and the slave trade destroyed trust between the Soninke people and their leaders. This lasted for generations after slavery ended.

  • Colombia similarly struggled with low trust as a result of its history with slavery, which impacted social and economic development.

  • Trust levels were generally lower in areas more involved in the slave trade due to oppression of certain groups. This lack of trust had lasting social and economic effects.

  • Authoritarian or oppressive institutions more broadly damaged trust in society by depriving people of basic freedoms and rights.

  • The summary highlights how slavery and oppression destroyed trust between rulers/leaders and citizens, as well as between ethnic/social groups. It indicates this lack of trust persisted long after slavery officially ended and negatively impacted development.

I apologize, but the input ”, 327” does not provide enough context for me to generate a meaningful summary. Summarizing requires understanding the full context and content of what is being summarized.

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