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Sachs attack! Help!

Jeff Sachs uncorks a personal attack on me, grossly distorts my position to make me look bad, and he definitely knows this from POSITIVE aid statements of mine that he has quoted in the past, wow this gets more fun every year! Anybody have any inside contacts at Huffington Post to give me a chance[…..]

Posted in Meta | 17 Comments

Response to “Does God Believe in Jeff Sachs”?

I invited Jay Lawlor, the head of Millennium Congregations, and Jonathan Denn, the head of CountingPrayers.Org to respond to the blog post. I have not heard yet from Mr. Lawlor, but Mr. Denn responded. His letter follows: Dear Professor Easterly, Thank you for notifying me of your blog, and the invitation to respond. I was[…..]

Posted in Aid debates, Grand plans and aid targets, Poverty | 9 Comments

Does God Believe in Jeff Sachs?

I recently had a severe crisis of faith when I attended Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Manhattan. Although I am an Episcopalian, there was one part of the liturgy the congregation was reciting in unison that caused me doubts. The problematic prayer in the liturgy was: “The world now has the means to end extreme[…..]

Posted in Aid policies and approaches | 10 Comments

Jeff Sachs is Right! (at least about one thing)

When the global economy is in free fall and everyone else seems ready to throw each and every Econ 101 principle out the window, we economists – including some previously heterodox – get desperate to save the core principles that lead to prosperity and development. See Economists Go Back to Basics at Forbes.com.

Posted in Economics principles | Tagged | 9 Comments

Twitter and Income Distribution

UPDATE 11:35am: don’t think I obsess about Twitter numbers (see end of post) I posted a link on Twitter to yesterday’s great post by Laura: “Does Japan need your donation?”. A little while later the traffic on Aid Watch exploded. Being still pretty clueless about social media, I didn’t know why. Much later in the day, the reason[…..]

Posted in Data and statistics, Technology | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Twitter Klout of Development Folk

We were pleased at Aid Watch to discover Klout, an online Twitter “influence” scorecard. Could this help us settle some scores left over from the Twitter War we just had? We plan to use this as a rigorous new metric with which we will evaluate our efficacy in aid criticism and progress towards achieving our[…..]

Posted in Satire and parodies | 13 Comments

Please help us praise Millennium Villages…

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,[…..]

Posted in Aid debates, Metrics and evaluation | 16 Comments

Millennium Villages: Moving the goalposts

Here on the blog, we’ve been following the progress of the Millennium Villages Project, a joint effort from the UN and Columbia’s Earth Institute that has introduced a package of development interventions in health, education, agriculture and infrastructure into 14 “clusters” of villages throughout 10 African countries. In response to a critical paper by Michael[…..]

Posted in Grand plans and aid targets, Metrics and evaluation | Tagged , | 6 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[…..]

Posted in Books and book reviews | 23 Comments

Millennium Villages: don’t work, don’t know or don’t care?

UPDATE 10/16 12:25PM:  Tim Harford in FT also covers Clemens and Demombynes paper and gets response from Sachs. In a new paper, Michael Clemens and Gabriel Demombynes ask: When is the rigorous impact evaluation of development projects a luxury, and when a necessity? The authors study the case of the Millennium Villages, a large, high-profile, project originally[…..]

Posted in Metrics and evaluation | Tagged , | 12 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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