Are there poverty traps or not?

by Ryan Streeter on September 27, 2014. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

That’s an interesting question posed by this Economist blog post.  The author, keying off this paper by World Bank economists saying that poverty traps are overblown (contra the arguments made, for instance, by Paul Collier’s popular book The Bottom Billion), says that the answer isn’t clear.

The answer to the question will essentially explain how to square this chart….

Screen Shot 2014-09-27 at 4.37.51 PM

…with this one:

Screen Shot 2014-09-27 at 4.38.04 PM