Can the Free Market End Global Poverty? Joseph Stiglitz vs. William Easterly

P.T. Bauer in full flight

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P.T. Bauer on India castes

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P.T. Bauer on Indian castes

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P.T. Bauer on beggars in India

PT Bauer on wealth and power

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Source: From Subsistence to Exchange and Other Essays – Lord Peter Tamas Bauer – Google Books

Tyler Cowen on Peter Bauer

P.T. Bauer on @BernieSanders extending #fightfor15 to entire Third World!

India tried that in the 1950s as part of its five-year plans. It did not work that well. Bauer said that in development economics there is a “need to restate the obvious.”

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Source: Ending the Race to the Bottom – Bernie Sanders.

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Source: Indian Economic Policy and Development – P. T. Bauer (1959) – Google Books

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Will the population bomb prevent the great stagnation?

If only Paul Ehrlich had been right! Population explosion would have meant an explosion in people who could invent new technologies and populate in much larger markets to provide an incentive to invent new products.

Among Paul Ehrlich’s many analytical errors, he did not take into account that more people meant more inventors and more untapped markets.

Jones argued that in the very long run the only way to have further innovation is to have more people. If there are more people undertaking R&D and more people to populate the markets for those inventions, there will be further growth because the decreasing returns to knowledge creation will be overcome by having more R&D workers.

Jones attributes much of the growth in the 20th century to one-off effects that cannot be repeated such as putting more people into higher education:

… growth in educational attainment, developed-economy R&D intensity, and population are all likely to be slower in the future than in the past. These factors point to slower growth in US living standards.

Second, a counterbalancing factor is the rise of China, India, and other emerging economies, which likely implies rapid growth in world researchers for at least the next several decades.

Third, and more speculatively, the shape of the idea production function introduces a fundamental uncertainty into the future of growth. For example, the possibility that artificial intelligence will allow machines to replace workers to some extent could lead to higher growth in the future.

A larger population increases the rate of technological progress by increasing the number of geniuses and other creative people.The doomsday prophecies about the population bomb never took that into account. That is why they are wrong.

Lord Nicholas Stern – wrong from the start

Source: Nicholas Stern “Professor Bauer on development”, Journal of Development Economics (1974).

Source: “A Voice for the Poor”, The Economist (2 May 2002).


Source: Ian Vazquez “Peter Bauer: Blazing the Trail of Development”, Econ Journal Watch (May 2007).

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