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Category Archives: History

How the South was Lost

Vivek Nemana is an economics graduate student in New York University and a student worker at DRI. UPDATE: Art Carden makes an important emphasis regarding this post and contibutes an ungated link to his paper. See comments/bottom of post. Last week marked 150 years since the beginning of the Civil War. Victory for the North[…..]

Also posted in Academic research, Human rights | Tagged , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Commemorating the Triangle Fire

Today is the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire. 146 people, mainly immigrant women, some as young as 14 years old, died when a fire broke out on the top three floors of a garment factory at the corner of Greene and Washington Place, just off Washington Square Park in New York City.[…..]

Also posted in In the news | 13 Comments

Who is qualified to be self-righteous about liberty in other countries?

In 1845, a Virginia man gave his daughter Jane Cox a 15-year old slave named Susan White as a wedding present. Susan White had a daughter named Susan Brown in 1856, who also became a slave for the Cox family. After Emancipation, Susan White and her daughter Susan Brown left the Cox family to seek[…..]

Also posted in Human rights | Tagged , | 8 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[…..]

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Abraham Lincoln in Egypt

Today the doubts begin on whether there will be a happy democratic outcome in Egypt. There are no guarantees. Today is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. His most famous words also addressed doubts about democracy. Could American democracy survive a civil war? Could it make a transition from half slave and half free to emancipation? our fathers[…..]

Also posted in Democracy and freedom, Human rights, In the news | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Power from the Manger

Caesar Augustus was the greatest Emperor of the greatest Empire. He could force the  whole population to move back to their ancestors’ villages just to pay their taxes. Herod was governor of Judea, a backward province that Caesar likely paid little or no attention. Herod could order a massacre of all children under the age of two[…..]

Tagged | 33 Comments

It really was better to be British than French

Or so say the authors of a study probing the effects of colonial rule in West Africa. To identify the effects of colonial legacy, we focus on one case, the West African nation of Cameroon. Originally colonized by Germany, Cameroon was divided between Britain and France during World War I, and the two powers implemented[…..]


Planners vs. Searchers in 1958

At the 9th meeting of Hayek’s Mont Pelerin Society (MPS) in 1958, members discussed two papers by P.T. Bauer on economic development and foreign aid. Over at the Foundation for Economic Education’s excellent From the Archives blog, Nicholas Snow recently posted the account of that discussion from the first issue of the Mont Pelerin Quarterly.[…..]


How foreign aid was invented by accident

Truman’s Inaugural Address on January 20, 1949 is usually taken as the beginning of foreign aid, after it included these stirring words: Fourth, we must embark on a bold new program for making the benefits of our scientific advances and industrial progress available for the improvement and growth of underdeveloped areas…More than half the people[…..]

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How England met the Millennium Development Goals

UPDATE: got flamed for saying “England” instead of “Britain.” See comments. from a church in Oxford. A reminder that both maternal mortality and infant mortality were shockingly high in rich countries when they were not so rich… A reminder that foreign aid and UN resolutions are not the only way to drastically reduce maternal and[…..]

  • 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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