I just finished Tim Harford’s “The Undercover Economist,” something I picked up on a whim but couldn’t put down. It’s essentially the highlights of an intro economics course in one short, very readable book. The last couple chapters focus on the developing world, with some insightful/depressing thoughts. (Especially depressing to a PCV was the idea that corrupt governments are probably responsible for the large majority of poverty in the developing world…have I mentioned Cambodia’s Transparency International ranking?)
Maybe especially relevant to Cambodia, here’s the Undercover Economist’s take on sweatshops:
…In developing countries, workers endure terrible working conditions. Hours are long. Wages are pitiful. But sweatshops are the symptom, not the cause, of shocking global poverty. Workers go there voluntarily, which means – hard as it is to believe – that whatever their alternatives are, they are worse.