Bellerbys Economics - Mr Stephenson

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Reith Lectures - Jeffrey Sachs

Each year, the BBC hosts a series of lectures on world issues. This year, it focussed on globalisation (module 6/new module 4)

The lectures were given by Jeffrey Sachs, one of the world's most influential economists in the field of development economics. He is Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. He is most famous for the concept of 'shock therapy' - the rapid switch from a command to a market economy as witnessed in Poland and Russia in the 1990s. Whilst, in the long term, it could be argued that this has been successful - it did in the short-term lead to massive social disruption, the loss of capital-intensive industries and hyperinflation. Other countries, such as China and Vietnam, have adopted alternative routes towards market-oriented economies.

More recently, Professor Sachs has argued - most famously in his book, "The End of Poverty" that poverty in Africa can be overcome by massive directed aid from the west. Others disagree, arguing that asymmetric protectionism is the best route out of poverty.

All good stuff, eh? No wonder that a group of economists together is called an argument of economists.

You can find out more about Jeffrey Sachs here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Sachs

And you listen to all the Reith lectures here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/reith2007/lectures.shtml

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