Why Does Uzbekistan Lag Behind Other Countries?

March 5, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson are two academics who have a forthcoming book titled Why Nations Fail. In their blog of the same name they explore some of the issues involved with the first post looking at…Uzbekistan. Highlights include:

  • Uzbeikistan’s literacy, primacy school enrollment, and secondary school enrollment are close to 100%. Why then does its economy continue to underperform?
  • The “schools” are actually better thought of as labour camps, with the teachers the labour recruiters. Once the students arrive to school they are sent off to pick cotton, the commodity that forms the backbone of Uzbeikistan’s economy.
  • Parents are not asked for consent, and each child is required to pick between 20 and 60 kg of cotton in a day depending on their age.

To read more about the conditions that the children have to work under, what this means for human capital, and what the children do during their ‘holidays’ click here.

Source: Why Nations Fail

Via: Pretty much every economics blog we follow linked to this. It was enough to convince us to preorder the book.