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Portrait of the Poor

Orazio Attanasio Miguel Szekely
Price: $ 24.95

Portrait of the Poor examines poverty as a structural problem caused by the way economic systems operate. It poses a simple question: Why do poor people earn less? Case studies in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Peru find the poor caught in a vicious circle. They lack sufficient access to education, credit and other means to generate income, so they earn lower wages, which in turn prevents them from accumulating the assets they need to increase future income. The authors analyze the ownership and use of income-generating assets, as well as access to them. Where there are market imperfections, they propose policies to ease the constraints faced by the poor in accumulating the human, physical and social capital they need to generate greater income.

Orazio Attanasio is professor of economics at University College in London.
Miguel Székely is an economist with the IDB Research Department.

¿Here is a thoughtfully argued and carefully documented case for an entirely new approach to social policy in Latin America¿one that emphasizes the unrealized productive potential of the poor and the growth benefits of a bootstraps rather than a band-aid approach to reducing poverty. This book is must reading for anyone puzzled by Latin America¿s pernicious mix of low growth with high poverty and inequality.¿ ¿ Nancy Birdsall, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

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