William Easterly is Professor of Economics at New York University, joint with Africa House, and Co-Director of the NYU Development Research Institute. He is also a non-resident Fellow of the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C. Easterly received his Ph.D. in Economics at MIT and spent sixteen years as a Research Economist at the World Bank. He is the author of The White Mans Burden: How the Wests Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good (Penguin, 2006), The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics (MIT, 2001) and over 50 published articles. Easterly's areas of expertise include the determinants of long-run economic growth and the effectiveness of foreign aid. He has worked in most areas of the developing world, but most notably in Africa, Latin America, and Russia. Easterly is an associate editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Economic Growth, and of the Journal of Development Economics.
Easterly: Well I think . . . A lot of my inspiration is really just the mainstream economics profession that I think has identified brilliantly the way that economic development and the end of poverty actually happens. And I think Jeffrey Sacks view is actually pretty much a minority view within the economics profession – that it requires some kind of top down administrative plan to solve poverty. I think myself as just being a spokesman and a popularizer for the mainstream economics’ view – that the end of poverty is achieved through homegrown free markets.
Recorded On: 7/6/07