Two Very Smart People Discuss How to End Poverty

A fascinating diavlog between the famed (and controversial) utilitarian bio-ethicist Peter Singer and libertarian-minded economist Tyler Cowen. Singer has a new book about philanthropy, which is the ostensible topic of this diavlog. In the excerpt below, the duo debate aid-effectiveness and ways to reduce poverty.

At the very end, Singer gives a nod to the Paul Collier, The Bottom Billion author. As regular readers are no doubt aware, a couple of weeks ago Collier released a new report for the United Nations Industrial Development Agency. Having read the report, I think that Collier would argue that the biggest impact poverty reduction projects and policies are those that help countries to expand their manufacturing base. Manufacturing exports, says Collier, can do more to help countries trapped in endemic poverty than natural resource extraction or farming exports — and certainly more than aid alone.

Collier fans out there should definitely make Bottom Billion Blog a regular stop. In the meantime, watch the entire diavlog. This is just one snippet of a fascinating, hour long exchange.