PLSC 270 - Lecture 19 - Plight of the Bottom Billion

Lecture 19 - Plight of the Bottom Billion


In a pre-recorded lecture, Professor Rae discusses problems with using gross domestic product (GDP) as a measure for societal well-being. For example, GDP fails to capture wealth inequality and socially undesirable conditions that can increase GDP. He then touches on some of the "traps" presented in Paul Collier's book, The Bottom Billion, that are keeping the poorest of the developing countries mired in poverty. In the second half of lecture, a video of Paul Collier is shown in which the author urges the developed world to take as a model America's reconstruction package to post-WWII Europe. According to Collier, the developed world must rethink its aid and trade policies toward the developing world. Collier also discusses the relationship between democracy and the so-called "resource curse," and how the rich world can create institutions to support reformers in the poorest countries.


Collier, The Bottom Billion, pp. 3-96.

Course Media





Low Bandwidth Video

mov [100MB]

High Bandwidth Video

mov [500MB]