Persistent Poverty in Developing Countries

Determining the Causes and Closing the Gaps

Nancy Bearg Dyke
Release Date: July 1, 1998

About one fourth of the world’s population–1.3 billion people–live in absolute poverty, while almost another third are very poor by every measure. A diverse group of participants from around the globe met at a recent Aspen Institute conference to discuss how to reduce poverty and its consequences. This book summarizes their discussions and conclusions on the role of globalization and the trend to market economies in overcoming poverty (not sufficient alone), the effectiveness of current poverty reduction programs and practices (can be improved, must be coordinated), and strategies and specific actions that can be taken alone or in partnerships by developing states, the private sector, civil society, and industrialized nations and organizations to overcome barriers to poverty reduction and bridge gaps between rich and poor. Proposing a strategy called “Market Plus;” the primary recommendations concern how the industrialized world can raise poverty on its action agenda. The book includes a speech to the conference by former President Jimmy Carter and commissioned papers by several well-known participants.