It doesn’t help the poverty trap story that 11 out of the 28 poorest countries in 1985 had NOT been in the poorest fifth back in 1950. They had gotten into poverty by declining from above, rather than being stuck in it from below, while others escaped. If the identity of who is in the poverty trap keeps changing, it must not be much of a trap.
I agree in principle with just about everything he says, but I was stunned when he said that $2.3 trillion has been spent on international development over the years. To me, that seems too low.
P.S. Back when I was a much hotter researcher, I thought I had a good chance at a job that was close to my "dream job". Then I found out that Easterly was on their short list and I knew I didn't have a chance at that one. (No, it was not Easterly's current school of NYU - I was never that good).