Economics

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Economist Profile: Paul Collier

Level:
A Level, IB
Board:
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

Paul Collier is one of the most influential development economists in the world today. His academic work has focused on governance in low-income countries, understanding economic growth in Africa and the economics of civil war, overseas aid, globalisation and poverty.

Economist Profile: Paul Collier

His most famous books including

  • The Bottom Billion - causes of and policies to reduce extreme poverty
  • The Plundered Planet - focusing on how low income countries can avoid the natural resource curse
  • War, Guns and Votes - Democracy in Dangerous Places - the economics of corruption and civil war
  • Exodus - How Migration is Shaping our World

He identifies four “development traps” - they are conflict, reliance on natural resources, being landlocked with bad neighbours, and bad governance.

Land locked economies face particular challenges to integrate in global trade – without good infrastructure and efficient logistics businesses it can be difficult, costly and slow to get products to the countries of trade partners

Some landlocked countries such as Ethiopia have been doing well especially when they achieve regional economic integration with other land-locked nations

He has done some important work on strategies to help overcome the natural resource trap:

“Although large deposits of key resources such as oil would usually be considered a blessing for the development prospects of a country, it often turns out to be a ‘resource curse’”

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