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Category Archives: Books and book reviews

Saving Private Hayek

UPDATE: 3:30pm links to other reviews (all great) of the Fukuyama review at end of this post F.A. Hayek continues to be the most mis-characterized economist of all time.  As if Glenn Beck were not doing enough damage, now even someone I greatly respect — Frank Fukuyama– has gotten Hayek wrong yet again. In a review of a new[…..]

Also posted in Economics principles, Uncategorized | 28 Comments

Controlled experiments and uncontrollable humans

Bill reviewed two much-awaited books for the Wall Street Journal last weekend: Poor Economics by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, and More Than Good Intentions by Dean Karlan and Jacob Appel. The Good: The books’ signal achievement is in addressing two disgraceful problems that beset humanitarian aid. The first is that the effectiveness of aid[…..]

Also posted in Academic research | 4 Comments

Money buys happiness after all

Does happiness rise with income? Are people in poor countries less happy than people in rich countries? Much of what we thought we knew on this topic comes from a famous 1974 study by economic historian Richard Easterlin. Easterlin found that within countries, rich people tended to be happier than the poor. But contrary to[…..]

Also posted in Academic research | 19 Comments

Tea and the “narrative of Terror”

Even as [Three Cups of Tea] appears to provide a self-critical and humane perspective on terrorism, [this] article argues that it constructs a misleading narrative of terror in which the realities of Northern Pakistan and Muslim lifeworlds are distorted through simplistic tropes of ignorance, backwardness and extremism, while histories of US geopolitics and violence are[…..]

Also posted in Stereotypes | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

The African Success Story

If there was a theme to the development stories I read last week it was that the good news about rising standards of living on much of the African continent is not getting the recognition it deserves in the mainstream imagination. In case you don’t agree that people have a negatively skewed image of Africa[…..]

Also posted in In the news, Stereotypes | Tagged , , | 40 Comments

Malaria, past and present

Paul Russell, the main architect of the Malaria Eradication Program, had promised the Eisenhower Administration that the DDT-spray teams would extend a hand of friendship to wavering Cold War allies, revive the entrepreneurial spirit of populations made dull and sickly by malaria, open up huge areas of fertile land for cultivation, pro-mote economic development, end poverty, and spur demand for American products. But the global[…..]

Also posted in Global health | 13 Comments

Don’t be snobbish towards merchants & entrepreneurs, and you’ll develop

Aid Watch interviewed Deirdre McCloskey, author of the fascinating new book shown here. Could you briefly state the thesis of your book? Modern economic growth—that stunning increase from $3 a day in 1800 worldwide to now upwards of $130 a day in the richest countries, and anyway $30 as a worldwide average—can’t be accounted for[…..]

Tagged | 30 Comments

The myth of Ethiopia’s “natural” disasters

As Amartya Sen has shown, famines in our times are not true natural disasters, but more often the consequence of bad governments and their bad policies. Revisiting the era of Live Aid for a book review in The New Republic, David Rieff gives evidence of how the Ethiopian famine was framed as a natural disaster[…..]

21 Comments

Addicted to misery?

by David Zetland, S. V. Ciriacy-Wantrup Fellow in Natural Resource Economics & Political Economy, UC Berkeley While Bill and others were messing around with the New Yorker piece on Chinese development, they overlooked another piece in the same issue that may be even more significant (!) than debates over China’s growth. In “Alms Dealers” [sub[…..]

23 Comments

The Aid Trap: A reply

The following post was written by Glenn Hubbard and William Duggan, authors of The Aid Trap, which we reviewed last week. We are delighted that the blog site that Bill Easterly oversees, Aid Watch, has reviewed our book, The Aid Trap. And we are further delighted that on balance the reviewer agrees with what we[…..]

Tagged , , | 4 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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