This is part of the DR Book Collection.
Yesterday, a friend’s Facebook wall was blowing up with debates over the merits of libertarianism. One commenter wrote, “Libertarians should spend time in India or Pakistan to see what weak, ineffective government ultimately accomplishes.” My response was, “Just finished this yesterday.” I linked him to Why Growth Matters: How Economic Growth in India Reduced Poverty and the Lessons for Other Developing Countries by Columbia economists Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya. The book explains how the Indian pro-market reforms of the early 1990s have led to economic growth and consequently reduced poverty. Of course, the book does not argue in favor of a stateless utopia (there are a number of things listed in the book for the Indian government to do). But it does demonstrate how powerful and positive a force liberalization can be in the lives of the most destitute.
Definitely for those interested in developmental economics.