4 More Ways Countries Fail to Grow Economically

Some countries have rapid economic growth and others seem to decline. It’s difficult to understand the reasons why. Jeffrey Sachs in his book The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities of Our Time explains how this happens. Sachs identifies eight reasons why countries fail to have economic growth. I have included four of the reasons from his list here with my own explanation of his ideas. The other four reasons were included on yesterday’s blog post. When applicable, I have also included explanations of how the model of Jesus’ Economy works to overcome these barriers for economic growth.


1. “Cultural Barriers”

Cultural barriers are one of the most complex issues facing those living in poverty. Even if a certain people group or government wants to overcome poverty problems, it may be a cultural or religious norm that some people are viewed as less than others. Perhaps the most common form of this barrier is the way women are viewed in patriarchal societies. There are other cultural norms, though, as well, such as the way work is viewed, and how communities function.

Jesus’ Economy aims to overcome these barriers with healthy churches, who preach equality, and biblical ethics training for entrepreneurs receiving microloans.


2. “Geopolitics”

At times, barriers or embargoes on trade between two countries can impede economic growth. In addition, some larger economic powers unfairly favor trading with certain smaller countries over others. This can happen for all sorts of political reasons. Overcoming this requires two countries to work out their differences.


3. “Lack of Innovation”

In an economically impoverished country, resources usually hold innovators back from making progress. In places where innovation is desperately needed to overcome major issues facing the poor, innovators are often forced to resolve that their ideas will remain just ideas.

Jesus’ Economy overcomes this problem by offering microloans and training to entrepreneurs. We bring the capital and resources to empower innovators.


4. “The Demographic Trap”

Due to all sorts of circumstances and norms, there are more children coming into the world in the developing world than other places around the globe. This has resulted in a massive boom of people who need educations and economic help. The developing world is growing faster, in terms of people, than the developed world. This means that the problems facing the developing world need to be handled or we will end up with even more people in poverty than we have today.

Despite these barriers, we can make a difference. We may not be able to overcome all of them, but we can overcome many of them. Donate today to holistic regional transformation.

(This is part two of two of "Ways Countries Fail to Grow Economically." It's a sub-series of the blog series "What I Learned from Jeffrey Sachs.")

John Barry
John Barry


CEO and Founder of Jesus' Economy. John is the General Editor of the highly acclaimed Faithlife Study Bible and Lexham Bible Dictionary. His new book is Jesus' Economy: A Biblical View of Poverty, the Currency of Love, and a Pattern for Lasting Change. It is widely endorsed by Christian leaders from around the world.