Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence and the Poverty of Nations


October 23, 2008


Edward (Ted) Miguel


Director of the Center for Evaluations of Global Action, University of California, Berkeley


Meet the economic gangster. He’s the United Nations diplomat who double parks his Mercedes on a New York street at rush hour, because the cops can’t touch him-he has diplomatic immunity. He’s the dictator, the warlord, the black marketeers, the unscrupulous bureaucrat who bilks the developing world of billions of aid—and keeps many communities in a cycle of violence and poverty.
We can stop this waste of resources as we follow the foreign aid money trail, and find solutions that can make tremendous difference to the developing world, solutions that can range from cash infusions to diffuse violence in times of drought to guiding the World Bank away from programs most susceptible to corruption. Economic data, often found in unexpected places, can become potent tools in understanding how the global market really works and what is getting in the way of economic progress.


Edward (Ted) Miguel

Edward Miguel is associate professor of economics and Director of the UC Berkeley center of Evaluations for Global Action. He earned .B. Degrees in both economics and mathematics from MIT, and received a Ph.D in economics from Harvard University, where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow. Miguel’s main research focus is African economic development, and he has conducted field work in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and India. Ted is a Faculty Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, Associate editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics and a recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and other awards.