GeoFinal Notes- - Final Examination Review Notes O Poverty 2 What are the causes of famine in the contemporary era The Scott article According to

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Final Examination Review Notes O. Poverty 2. What are the causes of famine in the contemporary era? The Scott article . According to Scott, there are two fundamental causes of persisting poverty. The first is the exclusion of the things produced by the least-developed countries, namely agricultural products and low-end manufactured goods like textiles, from the world trade agreement. The US, the European countries and Japan have all joined together to impose quotas on textile imports, while the European countries and Japan are responsible for the twenty-year stalemate that has continued to exclude agricultural products from the world trading system, as we discussed at the end of the last lecture. The second cause is also familiar territory, the bad CPI scores of most of the least developed countries and their consequent inability to attract foreign direct investment. The Sen chapter Sen is a winner of the Nobel prize in economics . This article is a chapter from his Development as Freedom, and it basically sheds a new light on the point I’ve been making about bad government and the inability of the non-trading low-end countries to keep up with the rate of economic growth of the rest of the world, or to put it the other way round to fall further and further behind the rest of the world. I’ve been making the point that bad governments—corrupt, no rule of law, no budget discipline and so forth—tend to be unattractive to FDI. In other words, I approach the problem from the outside point of view: what are the effects of bad government on a country’s attractiveness to potential outside investors. The Sen chapter approaches the question from the internal point of view: what are some of the effects of bad government on the internal development of the country? Why does poverty persist? Sen is concerned with the persistence of poverty, and particularly of the most extreme form of poverty, the inability of people to keep themselves alive, to grow enough food or to earn enough money to feed themselves or their families. There have been examples of this throughout history. You must keep in mind that famine—widespread death by starvation—was one of the hallmarks of the traditional world, or in other words of all of human history up to the last few decades, but in the era of globalization there’s a growing expectation, which I share, that famine should be going extinct. To give you an example: about four years ago, there was a famine in Niger. There was a locust plague, the crops were devoured and people died of hunger. This is the traditional world in action: if the rains fail or there’s a crop disease or insect swarm, the food supply is destroyed and people die of hunger. What was remarkable about this was not that it happened—as I say, it’s been happening since forever—but why it continues to happen in the 21 st century, with food production growing faster than population and the ability to transport large quantities of food from one continent to
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This note was uploaded on 01/06/2009 for the course GEOG 21 taught by Professor Acker during the Fall '08 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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GeoFinal Notes- - Final Examination Review Notes O Poverty 2 What are the causes of famine in the contemporary era The Scott article According to

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