The End of Poverty
In this influential book, esteemed economist Jeffrey Sachs outlines a strategy for eradicating extreme poverty globally. Drawing on his over 30 years of work on the subject, he asserts that with enough resources and an integrated, place specific development plan, poverty can be eradicated.
|Jeffrey Sachs||2018-06-12 00:00:00 UTC|
This book is an influential piece of development literature for its boldness and simplicity. Sachs’ has been credited with being open minded and progressive, and above all optimistic in this work.
He draws on very tangible and legitimate success stories, such as in Bolivia, where he made his name advising the failing economic state in the 70’s and 80’s through “shock therapy”. In this way, he argues each impoverished community needs its own “diagnosis” and “prescription” (creating his own analogy to medicine). Along with the Millennium Development Goals, which Sachs was instrumental in creating, this work stands as a milestone in advancing development theory forwards and away from the Dependency Theory of the 70’s and the neoliberal economic policies at the end of the 20th century.
The End of Poverty has also received fair criticism for painting with a broad brush. The premise of the book is to distill his learnings of the last 30 years into a generalizable theory that can be tweaked to each location’s needs. This methodology has infamously run into obstacles such as unexpected weather patterns, unplanned cultural habits or abnormal economic traditions. As evidenced by the mixed results of Sachs’ Millennium Villages Project, many development projects produce useless and sometimes harmful infrastructure for communities that do not want it.
More a motivational piece than a ‘how to’ guide, this book offers hope for the future of development by reflecting on past mistakes.
- See Nina Munk’s review of Jeffrey Sachs’ Millennium Villages Project: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/118598/the-idealist-by-nina-munk/
- See LensShift resource: "Tracking One Man’s Quest to End Extreme Poverty"