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
- Rukmini on Aid Watch blog ends; New work on development begins : This has been a valuable resource for me and I’m sorry to see it...
- Jesse on From Hell to Prosperity: I would like to see this graph with a comparative one which shows the number of people in each religion...
- Ellie on Aid Watch blog ends; New work on development begins : Sad to see you go, but I certainly respect the decision. Hope it is...
- Vivek Nemana on From Hell to Prosperity: Jeff, Well, the billionaire effect might explain a disproportionately high mean income, but...
- M on Aid Watch blog ends; New work on development begins : I agree that Bill and Laura should think about how they can get their message...
- Mr. Econotarian on Are Lax US Gun Laws Spilling Violence into Mexico? : The paper says: “DHS data gives the number of illegal...
Author Archives: William Easterly and Laura Freschi
Why do some cultures encourage women to work, while others prefer they stay secluded in the home? Why do women in Africa command a bride price for their hand in marriage, while in northern India it is the bride’s family who must pay a dowry to the groom? Why are women secluded in the home[…..]
From our newly-published blog post for the New York Review of Books: Foreign aid observers have often worried that Western aid to Africa is propping up autocratic regimes. Yet seldom has such a direct link from aid to political repression been demonstrated as in “Development without Freedom,” an extensively documented new report on Ethiopia by Human[…..]
Robert Strauss, a Madagascar-based consultant, filed a Freedom of Information Act request last March to find out more about the US government decision to remove Madagascar from its list of countries eligible to receive trade preferences under AGOA. This is a decision we have blogged about many times, since it has cost thousands of Malagasy[…..]
Just before the big UN meetings here in New York around the Millennium Development Goals, the FAO released new world hunger numbers, and Aid Watch listed reasons to worry that these numbers were “made up.” A blog post from Oxfam GB’s Duncan Green called our post “lazy and supercilious,” with the amusing headline “Easterly trashed.”[…..]
It’s sure was nice to see mainly Ethiopians vigorously participating in a debate about Ethiopia, in contrast to the usual Old White Men debating Africa. The Meles visit to Columbia had the unintentional effect of promoting this debate. We were very happy at Aid Watch to have had the privilege of turning over our little corner of[…..]
A big part of what we do on this blog is criticize bad ideas in aid. But in our zeal to get this message across, sometimes other, important messages get lost. Today, we devote the blog to expressing our admiration and respect for aid workers. Aid work can be a tough, grueling, frustrating, even heart-breaking[…..]
The history of foreign aid for global health has seen a cycling back and forth between two alternative approaches. The “vertical” approach focuses on fighting one disease at a time, and in Africa has been very effective in targeting smallpox, Guinea worm, measles, and river blindness, to name a few examples. After large initial successes[…..]
World Bank Ethiopia country director Ken Ohashi has a letter in the New York Review of Books responding to Helen Epstein’s charge that the Bank is supporting tyranny (which we also blogged). Ken’s letter defends World Bank aid to Ethiopia: There are concerns about the overall governance of the country, efficiency and fairness of resource use,[…..]
NYT columnist Nick Kristof had an uber-provocative Sunday column: …if the poorest families spent as much money educating their children as they do on wine, cigarettes and prostitutes, their children’s prospects would be transformed. Much suffering is caused not only by low incomes, but also by shortsighted private spending decisions by heads of households. The[…..]
A walking tour through some of the trendiest coffee shops in the NYU vicinity reveals a common element: creatively packaged, expensive Rwandan coffee for sale. Given our long-standing interest in 1) good coffee and 2) the potential of entrepreneurship for development, this phenomenon clearly merited investigation. The work of Karol Boudreaux, who has been following[…..]