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The Washington folly

Paul Collier's review of my book failed to take into account the disastrous effect on developing countries of following the advice of the IMF and World Bank

By Erik S Reinert   June 2007

In the latest issue of Prospect, Paul Collier reviews two books, Lawrence E Harrison’s “The Central Liberal Truth: How Politics Can Change A Culture and Save It From Itself” (OUP) and my “How Rich Countries Got Rich and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor” (Constable & Robinson). Both books represent an alternative thinking to that of the Washington institutions, including the World Bank, where Collier was director of the development research group.

The starting point for this debate is the striking failure of the IMF and World Bank to create wealth in many countries. In fact, their advice has led to…

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