Paul Collier’s book The Bottom Billion shows what is happening to the poorest people in the world, and offers ideas for opening up opportunities to all.

Why you should listen

Paul Collier studies the political and economic problems of the very poorest countries: 50 societies, many in sub-Saharan Africa, that are stagnating or in decline, and taking a billion people down with them. His book The Bottom Billion identifies the four traps that keep such countries mired in poverty, and outlines ways to help them escape, with a mix of direct aid and external support for internal change.

From 1998 to 2003, Collier was the director of the World Bank's Development Research Group; he now directs the Centre for the Study of African Economies at Oxford, where he continues to advise policymakers.

What others say

“Collier sheds much light on how the world should tackle its biggest moral challenge. [He] shows, too, how far western governments and other external actors are from currently giving the sort of help these countries desperately need.” — Martin Wolf, Financial Times

Paul Collier’s TED talks

Paul Collier on the TED Blog
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New rules for rebuilding a broken nation: Paul Collier on TED.com

June 24, 2009

Long conflict can wreck a country, leaving behind poverty and chaos. But what’s the right way to help war-torn countries rebuild? At TED@State, Paul Collier explains the problems with current post-conflict aid plans, and suggests 3 ideas for a better approach. (Recorded at TED@State, at the US State Department, June 2009, in Washington, DC. Duration: […]

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TED@State: Paul Collier on the steps to rescuing a failed state

June 3, 2009

Economist Paul Collier studies the political and economic problems of the very poorest countries: 50 societies, many in sub-Saharan Africa, that are stagnating or in decline, and taking a billion people down with them. His book The Bottom Billion identifies the four traps that keep such countries mired in poverty, and outlines ways to help […]

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TED goes to Washington: Today is TED@State

June 3, 2009

TED is in Washington, DC, today, helping to throw a first-of-its-kind conference: TED@State, bringing great ideas from TEDTalks to Washington. This afternoon at the State Department, five TEDTalks stars — Clay Shirky, Paul Collier, Jacqueline Novogratz, Stewart Brand, and Hans Rosling — will share insight and new ideas; music will come from the legendary Zap […]

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Quotes from Paul Collier

Does an election produce an accountable and legitimate government? What an election produces is a winner and a loser. And the loser is unreconciled.
Paul Collier
TED@State • 306K views Jun 2009
Persuasive, Informative