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Planners versus Searchers in Foreign Aid

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Only for the recipients of foreign aid is something akin to central planning seen as a way to achieve prosperity. The end of poverty is achieved with free markets and democracy—where decentralized “searchers” look for ways to meet individual needs—not Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The PRSPs and MDGs create lots of bureaucracy but hold no one specific agency in foreign aid accountable for any one specific task. Planners in foreign aid use the old failed models of the past—the “Financing Gap”, the “poverty trap”, the government-to-government aid model; and the “expenditures = outcomes” mentality. Searchers in foreign aid would imitate the feedback and accountability of markets and democracy to provide goods and services to individuals until homegrown markets and democracy end poverty in the society as a whole. An example of the more promising “searchers” approach in foreign aid is 2006 Nobel Peace Laureate Mohammad Yunus and Grameen Bank.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Asian Development Bank in its journal Asian Development Review.

Volume (Year): 23-2 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 1-35

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Handle: RePEc:ris:adbadr:2321

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  1. Lección 2: La Escuela Austriaca y el Public Choice sobre Desarrollo Económico y Pobreza
    by Adrián Ravier in Punto de Vista Economico on 2012-08-15 21:07:43
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Cited by:
  1. Claudia Williamson, 2010. "Exploring the failure of foreign aid: The role of incentives and information," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 17-33, March.
  2. Spears, Dean, 2014. "Decision costs and price sensitivity: Field experimental evidence from India," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 169-184.
  3. Davis, Lewis S., 2010. "Institutional flexibility and economic growth," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 306-320, September.
  4. Badassa Tadasse & Bichaka Fayissa, 2009. "Determinants of the Allocation of US Aid forTrade," Working Papers 200901, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance.
  5. Dean E. Spears, 2009. "Bounded Rationality as Deliberation Costs: Theory and Evidence from a Pricing Field Experiment in India," Working Papers 1199, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..

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