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: Metrics and evaluation
An eloquent 3 year-old would have been better asking “What the dickens are you talking about? Who is defining success? Who says failure is bad, anyway?” – Joe
Earlier I blogged about aid cheerleaders and critics. Each camp argues about the mean outcome of aid rather than the distribution of impact among projects. Both camps agree that some…
UPDATE 11am response to commentator: is there an association between inability to understand Bayes’ theorem with ethnic prejudice?
UPDATE 3:30PM explaining risk of false positives to congressmen and commentators
Congressman Chairman: Muslims! Terrorists! Muslims! Terrorists!
Witness: Let A be the event of terrorism, and B be the event of Muslimism. Then P(A|B)≠P(B|A)
Congressman: What are you talking about?
Witness: You seem to be confusing the probability that a Muslim person will be a terrorist with…
There has long been a mystery in why the rapid growth of education in poor countries did not pay off in growth of production per worker, above all in Africa (best captured by a classic paper by Lant Pritchett, Where has all the education gone?, ungated here)
Eric Hanushek at Stanford has been working for the past several years on test scores as a possible resolution of the puzzle. If education doesn’t translate…
UPDATE 3: FEB 8 4:50PM: Twitter War reveals that Millennium Village Blog accused Clemens and Demombynes of hard hearts towards suffering (search the blog for “suffering”).
UPDATE 2: FEB 8 4:30PM: concluding coverage by @PSIHealthyLives @viewfromthecave of the Great Twitter War prompted by this post between @aidwatch and @earthinstitute, with collateral attacks on @m_clem, ending in a non-acceptance of debate by head of @earthinstitute.
UPDATE Feb 8 11:30am: sent comment with link to this post…
I liked this formulation from the blog The Coming Prosperity, posted today as a link on Twitter:
If solutions are known, need $$. If solutions are knowable, need evaluations. If solutions are evolving, need entrepreneurs.
Consumer Warnings: This comes at the end of a long diatribe against You-Know-Who (associated with $$). I’m not sure the author is a reliable guide to other people’s work, since Yours Truly is incorrectly associated with “evaluations.”…
UPDATE 4: 3rd nomination for positive. Day 3 of silence from MVP
UPDATE 3: another nomination for positive evaluation (Michael Clemens paper), another energetic disavowal by the author (see comments below).
UPDATE 2: oops, author of only nomination so far says it’s not so positive– see comments
UPDATE: received first nomination of positive review
On Twitter, @bill_easterly noted yesterday’s Aid Watch post :
On Millennium Villages: this is not my own predictable response, this is independent
In Mayange, a cluster of villages about an hour’s drive south of Kigali, Rwanda, interventions by the Millennium Village Project across all sectors (in seeds, fertilizer, malaria nets, health clinics, vaccines, ambulances, water sources, classrooms, computers, cell towers, microloans and lots more) aim to lift villagers out of poverty within five to ten years.
What do we know about the effects of such ambitious projects on the lives of the people living in these impoverished,…
The exciting Census headlines: Texas is the big winner in gaining Congressional seats, Texans vote Republican, Republicans win! Except — the additional Texans are Hispanics, Hispanics vote Democratic, Democrats win!
What a nice illustration of a serious problem in development empirics, known by the lusty, sensuous name of “heterogeneous effects.” If you find handing out free bed nets lowers malaria, that still only applies ON AVERAGE to the group covered by the study. Within this group, the effects…
I suspect that we long ago exhausted the patience of our readers with our multiple rounds of debate on the Human Development Report’s new methodology for its Human Development Index. At the same time, I feel an obligation to let the other side of the debate have their say as much as they want. So here is UNDP’s new response to Martin Ravallion’s response to UNDP’s previous response to our original blog criticizing the…