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Monthly Archives: February 2011

The Answer

….that no single key, no formula can, in principle, solve the problems of individuals or societies; that general solutions are not solutions, universal ends are never real ends…. …that liberty–of actual individuals, in specific times and places–is an absolute value; that a minimum area of free action is a moral necessity for all men, not[…..]

Posted in Big ideas, Entrepreneurship, Grand plans and aid targets | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

Kristof on Ending Double Standards on Democracy

A crude stereotype lingers that some people — Arabs, Chinese and Africans — are incompatible with democracy. Nick Kristof disagrees.

Posted in Democracy and freedom | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

The Swimsuit Debate continues (sigh)….

…probably exhausting the patience of this blog’s readers. Robin Hanson responds to my updated post on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue: Easterly doesn’t explain how exactly watching swimsuit models induces disrespect and harassment, and I find it hard to see the imagined causal path. As I made clear to Robin in an email exchange, I[…..]

Posted in In the news, Stereotypes, Women and gender | Tagged , | 24 Comments

Why we’ll always have benevolent autocrats

Last Friday, Bill gave a talk at the School for International and Public Affairs at Columbia.  NYU-Wagner student Christopher Faris summarized the speech over on the Wagner blog, and gives a great run-down of the audience reaction at Columbia: …Easterly argued that the theory of growth-boosting ‘benevolent autocrats’ (think China’s economic boom) is, at best,[…..]

Posted in Aid debates, Aid policies and approaches, Meta | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Third World America

UPDATE 11:20AM: accused of Detroit “poverty porn”, see response below. As you may have noticed, this blog sees America itself as an interesting development laboratory. Others seem to agree, as a new report applies the Human Development Index to the US. The site has a cool mapping function. Here is a map of health that[…..]

Posted in Data and statistics, Maps | Tagged , , , | 37 Comments

Toppling Qaddafi

Who was that madman ranting about his hallucinations on Libyan TV, desperately in need of an anger management intervention? Oops, that’s the ruler of the country. He has gotten even more ridiculously scary since our last post. A small group of young people who have taken drugs have attacked police station like mice … However there is[…..]

Posted in Democracy and freedom, In the news, Trade | Tagged , | 23 Comments

Wilderness to brothels to Apple store: the History of Development in one block

We usually analyze Development at the national level. Why not other levels? At the other extreme, here is a short and surprising illustrated history of one city block. Before Europeans arrived, it was a wilderness lightly inhabited by the Delaware ethnic group. By the late 1600s, this block was part of a hilly 200-acre farm owned by the prominent[…..]

Posted in History | Tagged , , , | 28 Comments

A Presidents’ Day for Protesters

President’s Day is really a lame holiday.  But the protesters around the world are rescuing it. Here is my all-time favorite definition of democracy, from one of today’s honorees–Abraham Lincoln: As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference,[…..]

Posted in Democracy and freedom | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Sports Illustrated releases annual Mainstreaming Gender Objectification issue

UPDATE 2/25: Robin Hanson’s blog offers a defense of the Swimsuit Issue. (Strangely it fails to mention this post although it uses the same “Top 10″  link as below. Maybe Professor Hanson regularly surfs feminist blogs.) This is a teaching moment for economists — does the relentless marketing of a “swimsuit” young female body type as sex object create[…..]

Posted in Women and gender | Tagged , , , | 27 Comments

A tragic sexual assault becomes pretext to insult both women and Muslims

Update Sunday 2/20/2010: good stories in NYT today: Reporting While Female and Why We Need Women in War Zones One of my favorite blogs, the awesome Wronging Rights, does the definitive take on the Lara Logan story, a CBS reporter who was sexually assaulted on one of the violent days during the Egypt uprising: The[…..]

Posted in Human rights, In the news, Women and gender | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments
  • About Aid Watch

    The Aid Watch blog is a project of New York University's Development Research Institute (DRI). This blog is principally written by William Easterly, author of "The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics" and "The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good," and Professor of Economics at NYU. It is co-written by Laura Freschi and by occasional guest bloggers. Our work is based on the idea that more aid will reach the poor the more people are watching aid.

    "Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking." - H.L. Mencken

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