Summary of Economic Gangsters

Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations

Princeton UP, more...

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Economic Gangsters book summary
Fascinating study uses cost-benefit analyses to examine causes and effects of poverty and corruption.


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Economists Raymond Fisman and Edward Miguel tour Africa and Asia to point out where old-fashioned economic cost-benefit analyses can explain corruption, poverty and some gruesome crimes against humanity. They find compelling examples, including the murders (albeit rare) of suspected witches in Tanzania and the parking habits of diplomats in New York City. Their study is a great read about people’s psychological and economic motivations. getAbstract recommends their work to investors, academicians, NGOs, charities and policy makers seeking insight into the seemingly intractable problems of poverty and corruption in the developing world.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What “economic gangsterism” is,
  • How nations such as Chad fall into “conflict traps” and
  • Why economic development needs scientific rigor.


The Poverty Puzzle
Since the mid-1900s, some nations have escaped the chains of poverty to achieve stunning economic growth. These include the Asian tigers of South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and China. Yet poverty dominates Africa and parts of Asia. Consider Kenya: After a bloody revolution...
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About the Authors

Raymond Fisman is the Slater Family Chair in Behavioral Economics at Boston University. Edward Miguel is Oxfam Professor in Environmental and Resource Economics in the Department of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley.

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    Tom Sales 9 months ago
    To many inflammatory statements and baseless conclusions ...episodes or interesting stories do not make it for facts and good policies prescriptions !

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