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: Academic research
Aid Watch has complained before about shaky social science analysis or shaky numbers published in medical journals, which were then featured in major news stories. We questioned creative data on stillbirths, a study on health aid, and another on maternal mortality.
Just this week, yet another medical journal article got headlines for giving us the number of women raped in the DR Congo (standard headline: a rape a minute). The study applied country-wide a 2007 estimate of…
From a newly published article here.
Before anyone on this list gets too much of a swollen head, note that everyone after the top 4 got between 5 and 10 votes out of 299 professors surveyed (there was another group at 4 votes, including a certain J. S*chs). There also seems to be a sheer name recognition effect over-representing economists that show up in the news media, kind of the same way that Donald…
Do more guns cause more violence?
We exploit a natural experiment induced by the 2004 expiration of the U.S. federal assault weapons ban to examine how the subsequent exogenous increase in gun supply affected violence in Mexico. The expiration relaxed the permissiveness of gun sales in border states such as Texas and Arizona, but not California, which retained a pre-existing state-level ban.
Using data from mortality statistics and criminal
By Claudia Williamson, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Development Research Institute
Rhetoric on “aid effectiveness” keeps escalating, is there anything to show for it?
The past (almost) two years, Bill and I have been collecting data, combing through that data, and refining the numbers to ‘grade’ aid agencies and assess overall trends in aid practices. We waited until our paper passed peer review to release our findings. Rhetoric versus Reality: The Best and Worst of Aid Agency…
In a recent speech addressing the Makerere Institute of Social Research in Uganda, Mahmood Mamdani described the state of academic research and higher education in Africa as dominated by a “corrosive culture of consultancy.”
Today, intellectual life in universities has been reduced to bare-bones classroom activity. Extra-curricular seminars and workshops have migrated to hotels. Workshop attendance goes with transport allowances and per diem. All this is part of a larger process, the NGO-ization of
The books’ signal achievement is in addressing two disgraceful problems that beset humanitarian aid. The first is that the effectiveness of aid is often not evaluated at all; the second is that even when aid is evaluated, the methods are
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 expectation, rich countries as a whole were not happier than poor countries. And even stranger, in the US, when per…
There is convincing evidence from a number of countries that cash transfers can reduce inequality and the depth or severity of poverty. For example, in Brazil a combination of cash transfer programmes accounted for 28 percent of the total fall in the Gini index (a summary measure of inequality) between 1995 and 2004….
Well-designed and implemented cash transfers help to strengthen household productivity and capacity for income generation. Small but reliable flows of transfer income
Academic development economists have become newly interested in cultural values, and one of their most common findings is that cultural differences between regions and towns last a very a long time. I confess I’m a fan of this research.
But even I was surprised when a paper at NYU’s Development Seminar yesterday showed that if your (regional) ancestors persecuted Jews in 1348-50, you were more likely to become a Nazi in the 1920s and 1930s.