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Reviewed by Kristin Saucier A country of low income and low growth is likely to be trapped in what we called a conflict trap. As the oil is pumped, other sectors of the economy wither, their costs rising from increased wage competition and the sudden rush of foreign currency into the country that is unfairly shared across the country. But I disagree that Natural Resources alone are a negative issue – rather it is more down to bad governance and predatory private parties who seek to profit from the weakly guarded natural wealth, an alternative being a future fund akin to that found in Singapore or Quebec. 73% of those in the poorest billion of the world’s population are either involved in or recovering from civil war. These measures are aid, military intervention, laws and charters, and trade policy. Economist Paul Collier explains why exporting natural resources has been a disaster for many African countries in the long run. The Four Traps. Being landlocked doesn’t have to be a disaster, as long as your neighbours have decent infrastructure and allow you to use their ports. An Analysis of the Four Poverty Traps in Paul Collier's The Bottom Billion: Conflict, Natural Resources, Bad Neighbors, and Bad Governance PAGES 4. In his book The Bottom Billion, Paul Collier outlines four poverty traps that prevent development.I’ve reviewed the book already, but I thought it was worth introducing some of his theory a bit more as part of my ongoing exploration into why some countries remain poor.. Dependence on natural resource revenues leads to another trap. Bad Governance in a Small Country 64 Part 3 An Interlude: Globalization to the Rescue? The Bottom Billion presents a very clear framework for understanding and acting upon the problems facing the most severely poor countries. Conflict The first of the four traps is conflict. The book suggests that, whereas the majority of the 5-billion people in the "developing world" are getting richer at an unprecedented rate, a group of countries (mostly in Africa and Central Asia but with a smattering elsewhere) are stuck and that development assistance should be focused heavily on them. Natural resource wealth, in addition to increasing a country’s propensity for civil war, also creates its own trap. These measures are aid, military intervention, laws and charters, and trade policy. “However: the deed is done. The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It is divided into four parts. Conflict tends to plague societies with low income and low growth. In this book, Paul Collier discusses four such traps that have previously received little attention. Integrating anecdotes from his professional life as former director of development research at the World Bank and as advisor to the British government’s Commission on Africa, with rigorous econometric analysis (conducted during his current academic life as Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University), Collier focuses on the plight of the poorest billion people on the planet, the vast majority of whom reside in Africa. All donations are tax deductible. In his book ‘The Bottom Billion’, Paul Collier outlines four poverty traps that prevent development.Useful when looking at reasons why some countries develop and others do not. Anyone interested in why sub-Saharan Africa and other countries are so poor and in how the Western world can help improve the lives of the world’s most impoverished individuals must read this book. The Four Traps. If your neighbours don’t like you, or if they are basket-case countries, there is no way you can export. For instance, Collier places blame on banks in developed countries, as they often hold deposits from the wealthy of the bottom billion, money that has likely been obtained through corruption or bribery. Instead, Collier demonstrates that the answer lies somewhere in between, where aid plays a role, but not the only role, and where military intervention, international charters, and trade policies also have a responsibility. View Full Essay. Paul Collier’s Bottom Billion Theory can be used to criticise all previous grand-theories of development – modernisation theory, dependency theory and neoliberalism. It sounds a little paradoxical to suggest that natural resource wealth is a factor in poverty, but you only have to consider that Sudan, Angola, and Zimbabwe all have oil to see how this plays out. Prof. Collier describes four kinds of poverty trap: conflict, natural resources, landlocked and bad governance. Sometimes this is simply because the revenues end up in the foreign bank accounts of the elite, but the big problem is this: the rush of investment into one sector draws attention, capital, and skills from all the other sectors of the economy. While governments do not function, or exist only to benefit themselves, development is ultimately impossible. Hardcover ISBN 9780195311457. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. "Change is going to have to come from within the societies of the bottom billion, but our own policies could make these efforts more likely to succeed, and so more likely to be undertaken." The Four Trapes highligted in The Bottom Billion is really a literary master peice in poverty literature & will have enduring values for students, planners, administrators last but not the least for thr politicians. four traps Collier identifies. 73% of people in the bottom billion countries are in a civil war or have recently been through one. These countries exist and they will continue to do so.” The best we can do is make sure that landlocked countries are prioritised in aid. Conflict The first of the four traps is conflict. An assessment of ‘The Bottom Billion’ then boils down to two questions: What is the value of the four traps? These countries typically suffer from one or more development traps. what services are in-kind?) “A reasonable case can be made that these places should never have become countries” says Collier. It's all about governance. 73% of those in the poorest billion of the world’s population are either involved in or recovering from civil war. ... Development traps. In what way do the policy prescriptions follow the analysis of the four The natural Resource TrapThe natural Resource Trap The discovery of valuable natural resources in the context of poverty is a trap. 1. Around the world right now, one billion people are trapped in poor or failing countries. Some current laws in the Western world contribute to the bottom billion’s poverty. Effectively aiding the Pacific’s attempts to improve decades of It’s the lack of action by governments to properly distribute the public wealth created by exploiting natural resources, directing instead, corruptly, to elites and cronies. Regarding Natural Resources, isn’t that precisely what Collier is saying? Promote individual and collective commitments to sustainable hunger solutions. Natural resource exports often do more harm than good in the bottom billion because of corruptive governments that spend revenues in their own self-interest and not those of the… For countries that cannot access the coast, the most they can hope for, says Collier, is relying on their neighbors for growth. However, nearly all of his arguments are substantiated with economic analysis, and he is quick to point out whether his results have been peer reviewed or are only initial findings. First, there is conflict: most of these countries are threatened with violence either from without or within. Most of them are caught, as Mr Collier describes it, in one or more of four traps: wars, in which 73% of the poorest have been caught at one time or … Countries like Angola prove the point. Collier attributes the extreme poverty of the fifty-eight countries that harbor the poorest billion individuals to one, or a combination, of four “traps”: a conflict trap, a natural resources trap, the trap of being landlocked with bad neighbors, and a poor governance trap. Rather than blaming civil wars on social grievances such as exclusion or repression, Collier finds that countries with a low level of income, slow economic growth, and/or dependence on primary commodity exports are most prone to civil war. The first is aid. I’ve reviewed the book already, but I thought it was worth introducing some of his theory a bit more as part of my ongoing exploration into why some countries remain poor. Unformatted text preview: Paul Collier: The Bottom Billion -there are four traps: 1) the conflict trap: civil war-- cyclical conflict wherein civil war reduces income and low income increases the risk of civil war. His book The Bottom Billion identifies the four traps that keep such countries mired in poverty, and outlines ways to help them escape, with a mix of direct aid and external support for internal change. We have covered two “traps” that keep a developing country stuck in the bottom billion. Change ). When oil is discovered for example, the demand for infrastructure and business development in that area will immediately trump any other concerns. on Why some countries remain poor: Paul Collier’s four poverty traps, Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), The Asda, Tesco and Primark clothing workers on 7p an hour, Consumerism is the crack cocaine of human wellbeing, Is your bank financing the arms industry? Collier does not lay all the blame on the West’s trade policies, but also criticizes the high levels of domestic protection that many of the bottom billion countries enforce. The societies of the bottom billion are disproportionately in this category of resource-rich poverty. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. 2007. Well, not if economist Paul Collier has his way. Admittedly, Collier’s answer to that question is not as easy as Sachs’ who believes that increasing aid is the solution, but neither is it as frustrating as Easterly’s answer, which is that there is no answer. Often it is applied in exactly the wrong way – inundating a country at the end of a conflict or civil war. While being a proponent of free trade, Collier also argues that the bottom billion should receive temporary trade protection from Asia as they seek to break into the global market. With such a low percentage, a country is truly “trapped.”. The Conflict Trap 17 3. and not just wealth. He further cautions that aid is not a cure-all. the poor Bottom Billion will be unable to provide such attention, because the economies of agglomeration attached to Asian economic success will deny them the option of exporting cheap, labour-intensive manufactures. Landlocked countriesA third trap is geographical – the problem of being landlocked with bad neighbours. | अपना भारत, The challenge of inland Africa | Make Wealth History, 12 Data viz that show poverty’s biggest challenges | World on Safari, Unit 4: Paul Collier on The Traps Facing the Bottom Billion | Econproph [Comp. Trap 1- The Conflict Trap. In instances where military intervention is necessary, Collier warns that countries should be prepared to maintain a military presence there for a decade. 73% of people in the bottom billion countries are in a civil war or have recently been through one. About this essay More essays like this: Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University. Economist Paul Collier lays out a bold, compassionate plan … Yes, he makes the point that this isn’t the only thing that can and does happen when countries are rich in natural resources (eg the Netherlands experience), but it’s the corruption that’s the underlying problem. Systems 2016], Differing Perspectives on How to End Poverty – A Multicultural World, The Plundered Planet, by Paul Collier | Make Wealth History. Claiming that there are four traps countries fall into that lead to a spot in the ‘bottom billion,’ Collier lists the culprits as natural resources, corrupt neighboring nations, negative governing, and violent conflicts. Low income means poverty and low growth means hopelessness and available young men. 30% of Africa’s population lives in landlocked countries. The qualifier of a small country is necessary here, argues Collier, who provides Bangladesh as an example of an economic success despite being the most corrupt country in the world. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Hence, it is much harder for disadvantaged countries to break out of the traps in which they find themselves. We have a lot to answer for here, because we drew up the borders. - if bottom billion does not come out, there will be a "ghetto" & will be hard to bring them out - neglecting will lead to security issue. Bad governance in a small country can also trap a country in poverty. TheBottom Billion 3 Part 2 The Traps 2. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. The first point I will make is that economic indicators are mostly irrelevant when discussing the needs of people living in third world poverty (and note that third world refers mostly to non-european countries). 38% of the bottom billion live in landlocked countries,  and these pose a real challenge to development. A lot of the third world has been aligned with communists, which along with eastern philosophies concerning welfare, mean that in-kind benefits from government are normally the norm – these need to be taken into account because they can often be a better goal than money. 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