The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality

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Princeton University Press, Sep 22, 2013 - Business & Economics - 376 pages

A Nobel Prize–winning economist tells the remarkable story of how the world has grown healthier, wealthier, but also more unequal over the past two and half centuries

The world is a better place than it used to be. People are healthier, wealthier, and live longer. Yet the escapes from destitution by so many has left gaping inequalities between people and nations. In The Great Escape, Nobel Prize–winning economist Angus Deaton—one of the foremost experts on economic development and on poverty—tells the remarkable story of how, beginning 250 years ago, some parts of the world experienced sustained progress, opening up gaps and setting the stage for today's disproportionately unequal world. Deaton takes an in-depth look at the historical and ongoing patterns behind the health and wealth of nations, and addresses what needs to be done to help those left behind.

Deaton describes vast innovations and wrenching setbacks: the successes of antibiotics, pest control, vaccinations, and clean water on the one hand, and disastrous famines and the HIV/AIDS epidemic on the other. He examines the United States, a nation that has prospered but is today experiencing slower growth and increasing inequality. He also considers how economic growth in India and China has improved the lives of more than a billion people. Deaton argues that international aid has been ineffective and even harmful. He suggests alternative efforts—including reforming incentives to drug companies and lifting trade restrictions—that will allow the developing world to bring about its own Great Escape.

Demonstrating how changes in health and living standards have transformed our lives, The Great Escape is a powerful guide to addressing the well-being of all nations.

 

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User Review  - nosajeel - LibraryThing

A generally balanced, thorough, and readable survey of the literature on global development, poverty, inequality and health. It charts "The Great Escape" as country's go into self-sustaining growth ... Read full review

Contents

What This Book Is About
1
1 The Wellbeing of the World
23
PART I LIFE AND DEATH
57
PART II MONEY
165
PART III HELP
265
Notes
331
Index
351
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About the author (2013)

Angus Deaton, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in economics, is the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Economics Department at Princeton University. His many books include The Analysis of Household Surveys and Economics and Consumer Behavior. He is a past president of the American Economic Association.

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