Rich State, Poor State

Why do some states thrive, grow their economies and uplift their people, while others, facing similar challenges, slide into low growth, social dysfunction and failure?
Published 6 September 2023

After decades of work on the ground in Africa, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, bestselling author Greg Mills seeks to provide answers in Rich State, Poor State.

On each continent he traverses, Mills interrogates the how and why. How did Botswana go from being one of the least-developed and poorest nations at independence to enjoying the highest rate of per capita growth of any country in the world? Why has South Africa failed to attain similar heights? How did the Baltic states achieve reforms that have positioned them among the best-performing economies in Europe? How did Vietnam overcome a traumatic past in favour of a rapid and positive development transformation? Why is Mexico the only large developing economy that competes with China in manufacturing?

Drawing from interviews with current and former presidents, prime ministers and key government officials across the globe, as well as research from leading institutions to enrich his fieldwork, Mills contrasts the successes and the failures, and in so doing, seeks to determine a path for the next generation of leaders. Insightful and inspiring, Rich State, Poor State shows that with better choices, the right policies and the will to implement them, it is entirely possible to travel the road from poverty to prosperity.

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