Prosperity through Innovation

Listen now (50 min) | I had a conversation with Efosa Ojomo of the Clay Christensen Institute. He is the co-author of the book The Prosperity Paradox - along with Karen Dillon and the late Harvard management guru Clayton Christensen. The central argument of the book is that economic development happens when businesses innovate by creating a previously non-existent market. The book has been largely shunned by development scholars and this is where I started my conversation with Efosa. I also go through some other criticisms of the book, and Efosa had interesting answers. The book relies on case studies and might be considered not empirically rigorous by development scholars. Regardless of critics, the argument is powerful and hard to ignore. I read it as changing the overall incentives of all stakeholders in the process of economic development - when bureaucrats, the private sector can all benefit from making the pie bigger, things can move very quickly.

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