The report of the Commission for Africa, the brain trust of African and other leaders, economists and thinkers set up by Tony Blair, became one of the highest-profile “packages” of solutions for African put forward in 2005, during the Make Poverty History campaign in the leadup to the G8 summit in Gleneagles. We’ve summarised its findings at length, and at a little less length. Its program is heavily evidenced, and comprehensive. But I didn’t want to pretend there haven’t been criticisms of it, because there have. (more…)

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Last time, we saw Jeffrey Sachs discussing Africa’s tremendous burden of disease and its relationship to the continent’s poverty and slow economic growth. Next, Sachs turned his attention to the rest of Africa’s problems, and to broader lobbying for more international action on poverty. But a small matter of a terrorist attack got in the way. (more…)

Jeffrey Sachs‘ book The End of Poverty is as much autobiography as pop-economics. Last time, we looked over the sections where he discusses his work advising Bolivia, Poland and Russia on the management of their economies, and their transition towards various types of socialism to liberalised markets. Next, he turns his attention to the world’s biggest developing countries, India and China. (more…)

Right, now that we’ve finished our run-through the Africa Commission Report, it’s time to get back to unfinished business: Jeffrey Sachs. You can track the summary of his book The End of Poverty from beginning, but if you’re in a hurry, here’s a quick catch-up. (more…)

In the introductory chapters of his book The End of Poverty, Jeffrey Sachs lays out a brief history of economic development since the Industrial Revolution, and argues that the gap between the richest and poorest countries that now exists stems from the failure of poor countries to benefit fully from that process. In the third chapter, he goes on to look in more detail at “Why Some Countries Fail to Thrive.” (more…)

Jeffrey Sachs is known as an advocate of aid and debt cancellation – a cause he’s championed through the UN’s Millennium Development Project, the Make Poverty History campaign (and its global cousins), and in his own writing. Now, aid and debt cancellation are not, as we know, without their detractors. So when I picked up his book, The End of Poverty, I was expecting a practically-focussed blow-by-blow plan of action – how much money, where, when, on what, how, etc. In short, I expected a similar read to the Africa Commission Report, although I knew from various reviews to expect a little autobiography of Sach’s work in various LEDC economies as well. And, the second two thirds of the book provides all this. What I didn’t expect is what Sachs provides in the first third of the book – a giddying birds-eye view of human history through the economist’s eye, and in the process, a superbly neat statement of the importance of economic growth to development. (more…)

Angelina Jolie and Jeffrey Sachs (c) Getty ImagesThe Make Poverty History / Live8 furore of 2005 (and MPH’s counterparts around the world, collectively called the Global Call to Action Against Poverty) featured plenty of rock stars, comedians, actors, campaigners, and even a few Starving Africans, arguing and lobbying for action on extreme poverty. But when it came to actual economists, one name kept coming up again and again: Jeffrey Sachs. (more…)