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There are three ways to reduce global poverty: poor people change the places they live, the places poor people live get more productive, or commmunities engage in anti-poverty programs. Lant Pritchett argues that place has, at the margin, far and away the largest potential. If productivity goes up, poverty goes down, but creating sustained productivity growth has proven difficult in many places. Anti-poverty programs, which get the most attention, publicity and even research from economists and are actually empirically near-irrelevant (even when cost-effective), Pritchett says.About the speaker
After graduating with a BS in economics from Brigham Young University in 1983, Lant Pritchett has spent the last 35 years researching and doing development. That was time enough for one career with the World Bank and another teaching with Harvard Kennedy School, plus writing about social capital, economic growth, education, labor mobility, state capability, safety-net programs, population dynamics, poverty measurement, international trade, infrastructure, health and development assistance. Lant has been to more countries than he is years old and has lived in Argentina, Indonesia and India. He now lives in England.