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Home > Academic & General > Economics > The Poor Half Billion in South Asia: What is Holding Back Lagging Regions?
The Poor Half Billion in South Asia: What is Holding Back Lagging Regions? by Ejaz Ghani

The Poor Half Billion in South Asia: What is Holding Back Lagging Regions?

Editor(s): Ejaz Ghani
25 Aug 2010
Price:  795.00
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  • Book Description
  • Readership
  • Review Comments
  • About the Author(s)

South Asia is a land of sharp and growing contrasts. It has attracted global attention as an emerging economic powerhouse, but is also home to the largest concentration of people living in conflict, poverty, and malnutrition.

With a focus on the poor half billion of South Asia, this volume puts into perspective the colossal task ahead to eradicate poverty and enable inclusive growth in the region. Examining the challenges, successes, and failures of South Asia, it provides fresh perspectives on the links between economic geography, institutions, and globalization.

Through a comparative study of spatial disparities in income, poverty, conflict, human development, and gender divides, the essays provide answers to why certain regions are lagging. Combining quantitative data with analytical rigour, they provide innovative short- and long-term policy solutions to overcome the limits to growth and escape poverty traps.
  • Maarten Bosker
  • Ana M. Fernandes
  • Harry Garretsen
  • Ejaz Ghani
  • Maddalena Honorati
  • Lakshmi Iyer
  • Pravin Krishna
  • Taye Mengistae
  • Saurabh Mishra
  • Devashish Mitra
  • Surabhi Mittal
  • Çaðlar Özden
  • Dhushyanth Raju
  • Mirvat Sewadeh
  • Asha Sundaram

  • Students and researchers, the media, policymakers, NGOs, and development agencies.

    ‘This is a substantial and well-researched volume on different aspects of South Asian poverty. Rich in analysis and data compilation, it … takes a balanced approach towards remedial policy issues. This volume will generate great interest among development scholars as well as the policy community, and will be widely cited.'—Pranab Bardhan, Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley
    ‘Could economic growth, in and of itself, successfully attack poverty in South Asia? By splitting nations into sub-national units, this book clearly demonstrates that aggregate national figures mask vast sub-national disparities, and rapid growth in some regions would not necessarily lift lagging regions. Well-researched, broad-minded, thought-provoking, and timely.'—Ashutosh Varshney, Professor of Political Science, Brown University
    ‘The [book] shows that regional disparities in rapidly growing South Asia are more pronounced than in the rest of the world … [It] recommends direct policy interventions for poverty alleviation, viz., larger fiscal transfers to the lagging regions for investing in human and physical infrastructure, stimulating agriculture and facilitating greater human mobility. These measures are humane and practical, and the results would be relatively quick, substantial and assured, even as they lead to higher overall growth.'—C.H. Hanumantha Rao, Honorary Professor, Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Hyderabad
    ‘The remarkable growth of India since the reforms of the early 1990s and the acceleration of growth in other nations of Southeast Asia has generated widespread attention. This volume addresses those left behind … Particularly welcome is the emphasis on sub-regional aspects of poverty within each country and the disappointing effects of globalization on improving the lot of people in backward sub-regions… a mandatory reading for those planning new research on the topic.' —Howard Pack, Professor, Business and Public Policy, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
    ‘As Asia recovers rapidly from the global recession, a lot of attention has been given to “Asia Shining”. This volume is a welcome reminder that there is another side of “Asia Suffering” that needs to be studied to gain a balanced understanding of the region. Rich in detail and broad in scope … the book documents the challenges of poverty eradication and presents a range of solutions, spanning fiscal policy, social service delivery, and infrastructure … Anyone interested in the economic development of South Asia will find much of interest in this rich compilation.” —Homi Kharas, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
    ‘This book goes a long way towards explaining why growth may not be enough, who gets excluded, and why. This is a valuable addition to the debate on direct attacks on poverty.' —Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar, Consulting Editor, The Economic Times
    ‘This is a fascinating analysis of “shinning” versus “suffering” South Asia … [It presents] a wide canvas of economic wisdom going beyond conventional analysis. Those wanting to understand the growth–poverty contradictions in South Asia would be wise to use this volume as their fi rst port of call.' —Saman Kelegama, Executive Director, Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka

    Ejaz Ghani has taught Economics at Oxford University and University of Delhi. He is currently Economic Adviser, South Asia Poverty Reduction and Economic Management, The World Bank.

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