In this episode, Roberts talks “The Tyranny of Experts” with guest William Easterly.

For this week’s Extra, we thought we’d change things up a bit…

Choose one of the four questions (below the fold) and compose an answer of 600 words or less. Send it to by midnight Sunday June 22. Put “Easterly Essay” in the subject line. Selected entries chosen by Roberts will be posted the following week on, and the authors will receive a complimentary Liberty Fund book.

1. Easterly maintains that one of the biggest problems in the development world is that the rights of the poor are not respected. What does he mean by this? What are the implications for development policy?

2. Toward the end of the interview, Roberts asks Easterly if the world would be better off if the IMF and the World Bank closed their doors. How would you answer this question?

3. What role can (and should) data play in development? How does Easterly answer this question? How would Jeffrey Sachs answer this question? Morten Jerven discusses the quality of data collected by African nations in this 2013 episode. Given some of these challenges, how should Easterly and Sachs revise their approaches?

4. Roberts challenges Easterly to respond to those who claim that Finland in education or China in economic growth are models that policymakers should emulate. What is the strongest version of this claim that Roberts provides? How would you respond?