I recently read a newsletter article by Simon Black that was very timely for this Moving Out of the Country series. In it, he describes the main reasons why some countries are poor and some are prosperous. He’s been to over 120 countries, so he uses this data set for comparisons.
He describes three factors:
The first set is cultural. Wealthy nations have a culture that values hard work. Knowledge. Productivity. Innovation. Risk-taking. Saving. Self-reliance.
I’m not trying to say that people in poor countries don’t work hard. Far from it.