I heard Paul Collier speak today about a report he wrote on Haiti for the Institute of Peace. Collier is well known for his book the Bottom Billion, which discusses four traps that cause severe underdevelopment. As he points out of the four traps Haiti does not fall in 3 (land locked, bad neighbors, or natural resources). He even think that governance has been OK there, with bad governance being the fourth trap.
The main solution he presents was to increase garment production. Haiti gained extremely favorable access to US markets for the next 9 year for garment exports, but still there has been little increase in the garment industry there. He blames the lack of infrastructure, particularly electricity which costs nearly twice what it does in China as the lack of a quality port.
I recommend Collier’s book the Bottom Billion, and his new book War, Guns, and Democracy comes out Tuesday. I’ll try to review and let you know how the two compare.