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...
Bill Easterly tweets
- So sorry to hear about Turkey violence; Sympathy to the victims and to the cause of democracy. http://t.co/q3aMGKqJnt 07:01:19 PM June 11, 2013 from bitly ReplyRetweetFavorite
- I'm a little unclear on how they established causality from the Chicago mayor to the murder rate http://t.co/lASzN2F7G8 06:12:10 PM June 11, 2013 from bitly ReplyRetweetFavorite
- The Natural Effort to Better One’s Conditions - can't miss event tomorrow http://t.co/gnjUehxZIk 09:28:43 PM June 10, 2013 from bitly ReplyRetweetFavorite
- Hello, our government, this is a good moment to explain just what democratic checks and balances do now constrain the NSA. 05:12:56 PM June 10, 2013 from web ReplyRetweetFavorite
Aid Watch tweets
- Whoa. "Is this the most beautiful excel spreadsheet in history?" http://t.co/EEWpAQQHIG via @cblatts 09:10:05 PM June 11, 2013 from Buffer ReplyRetweetFavorite
- "The drug war in Mexico has claimed twice as many lives than the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan" http://t.co/5PBheCCpvA via @Guardian 08:50:13 PM June 11, 2013 from Buffer ReplyRetweetFavorite
- Some harsh, and debatable, statements: "Africa's Lesson in Self-Reliance" http://t.co/L0cKQn0Cmh via @nytimes 08:21:03 PM June 11, 2013 from Buffer ReplyRetweetFavorite
- Every rose has its thorn. Some roses also have toxic chemicals and sexual abuse. http://t.co/NBMk2gm2GD via @TheHumanosphere 01:03:10 PM June 11, 2013 from Buffer ReplyRetweetFavorite
Category Archives: Meta
There’s been a lot to get outraged about on Aid Watch this week. World Bank leader calls for democratizing research while censoring research. USAID and NGOs urge transparency while egregiously non-transparent. Critics criticize our criticism of FAO hunger numbers that turn out to be even worse than we first suggested.
Our strongest supporters correctly point out that excessively bland and polite statements have little effect on the debate compared to outrage, and outrage is often…
Dear Aid Watchers,
Both Laura and I are away for a week starting today.
I am cutting off the Internet entirely for a week in a bid to regain my sanity, so anything addressed to me in any Net medium (email, Twitter, Facebook, blog comments) I will not see for a week.
In the absence of Laura and I, DRI post-doc Adam Martin has generously agreed to take over as Guest Editor for a week, beginning with…
We’ve noticed a strange phenomenon on Aid Watch: our April 10, 2010 post Famine Africa stereotype porn shows no letup has also shown the least letup of any of our posts, showing up with traffic day after day. It is now the fourth most popular post of all time on Aid Watch. I was rather slow to figure out what was going on, which just shows what being raised as a Methodist in squeaky-clean…
Easterly talks with the John Templeton Foundation on the need for independent aid critics to challenge the mainstream development industry, and how successful development actually happens.
The New York Times called my attention today to ethical problems with blogs that do product placement, such as shilling for a certain brand of vodka without disclosing gifts from Absolut:
a blogger must be clear about any “material connections” with a sponsor, especially if these would not be expected by the reader.
My reaction was “wow, I had no idea we could make money that way!” Given the pathetic results of my fund-raising efforts so…
UPDATE 3:41pm June 7: see end of post.
I am a passenger in a car with my friend Owen driving…we’re chatting.
Me: did you see that sign? I think we better turn around.
Owen: why are you always so negative!?
Me: but the sign said…
Owen: if people listen to you skeptics, there’ll be no more funding for roads.
Me: I just think this time that…
Owen: why are you so negative when us drivers work
On Wednesday night I gave a lecture at LSE called “We Don’t Know How to Solve Global Poverty and That’s a Good Thing.”
The abstract I wrote beforehand was:
This lecture argues that occasions when development economists were more certain about ‘the solution to global poverty’ have often led to harmful consequences for the world’s poor in the long-run. Sceptical criticism is a creative force that redirects attention and effort away from centrally-directed expert
Consistent with the provocative hypothesis of Engerman and Sokoloff (1997, 2000), this paper confirms with cross-country data that agricultural endowments predict inequality and inequality predicts development. The use of agricultural endowments –specifically the abundance of land suitable for growing wheat relative to that suitable for growing sugarcane — as an instrument for inequality is this paper’s approach to problems of measurement and endogeneity of inequality. The paper finds inequality also affects other development outcomes –
Videos from Yale Law School Bernstein Symposium on Human Rights a couple weeks ago: Chris Blattman, Gregg Gonsalves (big attack on W. Easterly), Michael Kleinman
Keynote talk (something about double standards on human rights) by another somebody calling themself William Easterly.
Aid agencies announce they will be accountable to independent evaluators; This blog to permanently close
IRINA News, April 1, 2010
Geneva, Switzerland—A coalition of aid agencies meeting in Geneva today announced a historic agreement to reform the international aid system. In signing the agreement, heads of aid agencies formally committed to accept the verdicts of independent evaluators of the programs and projects in their portfolios.
The new measures require the 39 multilateral and bilateral aid agencies to scale up only those programs with a proven track record of success. Programs