Making Poor Nations Rich

a book that shows the importance of free markets and entrepreneurship


Book Description (at

Why do some nations become rich while others remain poor? Traditional mainstream economic growth theory has done little to answer this question—during most of the twentieth century the theory focused on models that assumed growth was a simple function of labor, capital, and technology. Through a collection of case studies from Asia and Africa to Latin America and Europe, Making Poor Nations Rich argues for examining the critical role entrepreneurs and the institutional environment of private property rights and economic freedom play in economic development

Making Poor Nations Rich begins by explaining how entrepreneurs create economic growth and why some institutional environments encourage more productive entrepreneurship than others. The volume then addresses countries and regions that have failed to develop because of barriers to entrepreneurship. Finally, the authors turn to countries that have developed by reforming their institutional environment to protect private property rights and grant greater levels of economic freedom.

The overall lesson from this volume is clear: pro-market reforms are essential to promoting the productive entrepreneurship that leads to economic growth. In countries where this institutional environment is lacking, sustained economic development will remain illusive.

Book Revews

“This book is a bold quarterback sneak directly into a line of argument in economic development studies that has long been ignored, trivialized or considered impossible to measure. It emphasizes the critical role of entrepreneurship vigorously undertaken in a friendly institutional setting, moving from theoretical analyses to individual and national case studies in countries and regions worldwide.” —William Ratliff, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

"While previous literature on entrepreneurship focused on how to construct new government programs to promote entrepreneurship, this book turns that theory on its head. This book shows how policies that limit government's scope of action are necessary to promote entrepreneurship. It is a refreshing change, and much more in line with the new and upcoming theories in this area than any previous works on state entrepreneurship policy." —Russell S. Sobel, West Virginia University

Go to: Success of Nations - the causes

Go to: Ranking of Nations on economic competitiveness

Go to: Corruption, Income, and IQ rankings of nations

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