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.
Poor people are their own best resource in escaping poverty. They are very resourceful. They are already conquering problems every day that are many times greater than you or I ever have to face. That’s how resourceful they are. And they are surviving, and they have a life, and I respect them. I’m not going to be patronizing and say, “Here I am the 21st century of the white man’s burden coming in to save you,” which I think is the problem of people like Jeff Sacks and Bono. I want to be helpful, but I don’t want to be patronizing. Recorded On: 7/6/07